The Life Together
13 October 2021
Reading: Nehemiah 9-10; Acts 2
41 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. 42 They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. (Acts 2:41-42 MSG)
I often think about what it must have really looked like--this brand new, primitive life of faith in community. There was no real precedent for this new thing that came to be called “The Church.” They lived in Jerusalem, the capital of Judaism, in the shadow of Herod’s Temple. It was a very religious culture, but they were called out and called together into a primitive and counter-cultural life of faith and fellowship. Here are some more words that describe, not prescribe, their life in these first few months of “Church:”
46 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, 47 as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved. (Acts 2:46-47 MSG)
How do we live the life they lived? Our lives are made enormously more complex by technology, transportation, communication, and economy. Can we – should we – attempt to build a life as simple as “They committed themselves to: 1) the teaching, 2) the life together, 3) the common meal, 4) the prayers?”
For centuries the discussions have taken place, the theories have been expounded, and the books have been written on what the life of an individual Christ-follower and the lives of a group of Christ-followers in community (The Church) should look like. Can it ever really be as simple as: 1) the teaching, 2) the life together, 3) the common meal, 4) the prayers? Should it be that simple?
Will you join me in seeking, contending for, and participating in The Life Together?
Father, I’m philosophizing again this morning. Once again trying to imagine what The Life Together should be like at its purest. I love the church. I love my life. But there’s something in me that still hungers and thirsts for something more. Lead me to lead those I influence to keep searching for The Life Together. Amen.