The early church was a melting pot of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds. It was a community that was developing a way of being together while still changing from day to day. Can you imagine what it would be like to have new faces at the table every time you sat down for a meal? As I read this, rather than a utopian vision of Christian community, I find three main characteristics of the early church. “They were together and had all things in common.”
Despite any of the various prejudices, preconceived notions, and levels of financial security that the group was navigating, they agreed on the common practices of 1. tending to the needs of all, 2. sharing meals, and 3. praying together. Together. They committed themselves to staying together even while the Spirit was out there blowing on those outside the community’s borders and ideas about who should be in or out.
How do we, as a church, respond to new faces at the table (in the church, in the community, etc.)? Do we seek common ground, or do we focus on our differences? How willing would you be to stick with the church if it was constantly changing? How willing will you be to stick around if it doesn’t change at all?
In prayer, consider those things you believe our congregation holds in common and pray that we might continue to grow and move and be open to the expansiveness of the Spirit’s invitation.