“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
Confession time – I am finding lately that I have passing “bad moods.” Now, if you know me, you will know that my “bad moods” come in two forms. One is like the impact a warms spring breeze has on the leaves of a mighty tree – barely stirring them and quickly dissipating. My other “bad mood” is like a mighty fault line opening up and consuming everything in a 1000 mile radius. Fortunately for those near and dear to me, it has been the spring breeze bad moods. But even so, it is unusual for me to be in a string of bad moods. I attribute to the trials and stress we, as a society, are having. And my own health issues.
Why do I mention this? Right now for me, I am feeling the stress and it bubbles up in me. But feeling of stress also comes with a feeling sadness for the death and suffering that our global community is experiencing. Times of stress can bring unusual changes to people. Along with the suffering, we are seeing amazing acts of human care and kindness. And for me, the stress I am feeling also comes with profound concern for everyone around me. How can the two co-exist, you may wonder. Well, one of the reasons the early church members gathered around each other was because the larger society around them were seeking to persecute them. It was, actually, quite a brave thing to be a believer in a society where non-believers out numbered them. And remember too, this was the society where Saul who would become care out of.
“Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.” (Verse 43)
Now, I have talked to the Divine a good deal about my passing bad moods. And I have asked the Lord to work within me to bring quiet and peace to my soul. I imagine the early Christians felt stress and turmoil, and that may be why they supported each other so completely.
“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.” (Verses 44 – 45)
You hear stories these days, beloved reader, of people being creative in how they connect and support each other. Keeping six feet away, and yet drawing close to each other. Making masks, offering services to those who are in need, and cheering the spirits of those around them.
“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.” (Verses 46 – 47)
Society these days may not be in each others’ homes, but through technology we are inviting family and friends into our lives, and reaching other to them. It is not a new thing, actually, to make close friends with those you have never met in person. But it is part of the human spirit to want to be in contact with others, and to share our joys and our fears – and our stresses and bad moods!
Consider, beloved reader, that the early Christian church did not last much beyond the life time of those who started it. Discord actually beset the early church, and what friction amongst believers did not erode, persecution did. That is why I want to be honest with you, beloved reader. To share with you what I am going through, and to encourage you to share with those around you. Not just possession and resources – but your feelings, sadness and all ranges of emotions. Just as the early church found a way to support each other, I hope you and your faith circle are finding ways to stay in contact. May the Lord God who keeps us under the Shelter of the Divine Holy Wing, keep you as you shelter in place. Selah & Shalom!