It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Church on Its Best Behavior, a Reflection on Acts 2:44-47

What does the word "church" mean to us now? Is it restricted to that building that we gather in on Sunday morning? Or, does it mean more than that?

The United Methodist Church is engaged in an effort to ReThink Church, to think about church not only in but outside that building.

Here's an example of the way one congregation is asking people inside the church to consider what church is and what it can be, and for people outside the church to do the same.

Looking at the Acts passage, I really cannot imagine a congregation selling all of their possessions and sharing the proceeds. I can and have seen great generosity but not to the extent that Luke describes. We seem to be more likely to complain about high taxes than we are to worry about the needs of those less fortunate than we are.

What should we do with this text?

As I often do, I turned to Carl Halladay in Preaching through the Christian Year A:
So we best use this text as Luke intended it--as a broad stroke sketch of the church at its beginning: faithful in teaching; active in sharing; devoted to eating, praying, and worshiping together; fearful before the Dive; exuberant in its praise of God. It is a picture of the church on its best behavior.

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