I'm taking a break from reflecting on the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead, I'm reading the Apocrypha for a while.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Loving your neighbor, Reflection on Acts 4:32-35

It's odd reading this passage in the same week that Americans' Income Tax is due. Now, the government wants a lot. Then the church wanted it all.

Remember, no social security, no medicare, no unemployment insurance. How were people who needed help to be cared for?

Giving everything seems hard--and it seemed hard to them, too. Keep reading in this chapter.

But, back to this lesson: Luke has emphasized that discipleship to Jesus involves one's possessions. See Luke 6:20-26; 12:13-21; Acts 11:27-29, among others.

Is there a conflict between being of one heart and one mind (v.32) and having private ownership? Even if we cannot imagine common ownership, is there any way we can accept a modification of this principle?

How do you find a connection between verses 33 and 34? What is our responsibility toward the needy (v.34)? Does this responsibility leap across national borders?

1 comment:

Earl said...

There is no indication that the Church wanted everything. Unlike the Fed. Govt., the Church found in Acts took what was freely given and used it to meet human needs. No buildings... just people. Cool. No expectation that everyone must give everything for the use of everyone. Just graciously receiving everything that was freely given and using it to meet human need. Way Cool!

Conflict between personal piety and personal private property? Not unless personal private property is misused (Acts 5:1-11, 8:18-24). Adoption of c*ommon ownership? Why? To what purpose? "Modification" of private property? Again why? To what purpose?

Of course there is a connection between vs. 33 and 34. It was a creative short-term solution to need. As a workable long-term strategy (USSR, etc.) it has been weighed in the balance of historical human experience and found wanting.