Church comes in for some pretty tough criticism at times. And to an extent, it’s probably understandable. The hard knocks and the accusations are not always without some basis in the facts.
But church can be beautiful. Very beautiful.
Luke gives us a peek into the life of the very first church that sprang into existence in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost. It was shortly after the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the apostles.
What this church looked like should seem somewhat familiar to us. That’s because it’s not very different — if at all — from what love looks like.
By which I mean loving God with all your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength. And loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
Rooted in the gospel, touched deeply by the grace of God displayed in Christ, and moved to action by the power of the resurrection, these Christians spoke the language of kindness to one another.
And kindness is a language the whole world can understand.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Friday, June 5, is 2 Samuel 7: 1 – 8:18, Acts 2:22-47 and Proverbs 14:5-14.
Lord, help me by your Holy Spirit’s power to make church a place that personifies love. Fill my church with the love of Christ and the wisdom and grace of the Holy Spirit. Make me a force of kindness in my own church, to bring about in the 21st century what believers in the 1st century brought about — moved by Christ’s love and the Spirit’s power.
Header image based on "Seeking Human Kindness" by Enver Rahmanov, CC by-SA 3.0