…And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.
They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
Acts 2:44-47 -The Message
The perfect Church. What an image.
It sounds too good to be true.
The Church today sounds nothing like the early Church. There are some exceptions. Some places that are thriving. But quite a few are struggling. They are dealing with conflicts. Budgets hang heavily. Programming is stressful when you look at costs and struggle to find volunteers. As attendance declines it’s hard to keep people excited. So we worry and we stew and things get worse. When you dwell on the negative that’s all you seem to see.
Perhaps the Churches that are thriving, thrive because they see the positive. They live the Gospel. They live hope. Perhaps because of this, they succeed. They don’t stew in the dark, they move towards the light.
The early Church didn’t live in an easy time. They lived with oppression. They struggled to survive. In the end they chose to push through the negative. They decided to cling to hope and live in faith.
We don’t live in an easy time, but it’s time for us to follow their example. We must push through the negative. We need to let go of the things that hold us back. It’s time to live in hope, together.