ISSL Reflections September 26 2021 Acts 2:32-33, 37-47 Post 2

IV.
As you read this week’s Scripture passage, pay attention to what it has to say about the “common life” the believers shared.

V.
Acts 2:32-33

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.

Acts 2:37-47

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

VI.
What do you notice about their “common life”? What characterizes the life of this community?

Let’s see – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

That could be what in part characterizes their “common life.” Their “fellowship.” We can find that in many Christian congregations today. Right?

And then – “Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.”

Do you think we find some of that in today’s congregations?

VII.
But wait. Here’s something else – “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.”

What do we make of that?

I have heard some suggest it was a “practice” for the early church but is not something to expect today.

Others find that kind of “common life” practiced to some degree in monasteries but not elsewhere.

But maybe there are places where it is still being tried.

Over the past several years I have read more and more about folks forming what has been called “intentional communities,” where folk do hold “things in common” and support one another. Some might work outside the community and bring the fruit of their work to the life of the entire community and thereby “distribute the proceeds to all.”

I doubt all are “called” to such a life, but might not some still be called to this kind of “common life”?

If you would like to read about such communities, allow me to offer a few suggestions –

Bruderhof Community
https://www.bruderhof.com/

Foundation for Intentional Community
https://www.ic.org/

Koinonia Farm
https://www.koinoniafarm.org/

The Simple Way
https://www.thesimpleway.org/

Schools for Conversion
https://www.schoolforconversion.org/

Nurturing Communities Network
https://www.nurturingcommunities.org/

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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