We read and discussed Acts 3 and 4 this time around. The neat part was that our son couldn’t wait to talk about it. So over dinner, the conversation began. This portion of Scripture tells about Peter and John healing the lame man at the temple and their subsequent calling before the powers that be. We compared it to the time Jesus healed the blind man on Sabbath. People missed the fact that a broken man had been made whole, and instead worried over details and loss of power. Pride and fear of losing power blinded them to love and healing.
We also discussed the Sadducees, as well as what exactly was going through the disciples’ minds in the time between Jesus’ death and showing himself to them. Our focus on both was the issue of resurrection, physical and spiritual. This was really interesting and long. We never came up with a final conclusion.
Finally we looked at the last bit of chapter 4 to see how the church got along. Peter and John came to them after their ‘trial’ and the whole group went into prayer, praised God, trusted God and then spoke with boldness. They were so unified. They came together out of desire. They longed to see one another, to give and receive support.
Regarding Biblical practices we should emulate, I have only heard the passages about the early church members selling what they have and sharing it among themselves to the point that none among them was needy dismissed out-of-hand. There is a pooh-pooing about our needing to have such hearts.
But I wonder if there is a reverse correlation between ownership and unity, and if such a correlation does exist, does our unwillingness to even consider such a lifestyle eliminate the remotest possibility of being the Body of Christ in the way He intended for us to be?
Please consider: when we own something, we are less dependent on others, on Christ. We can take care of ourselves. We might be willing to help others, but tending to our own is first priority. We are separated. The more we own, the less connected and the more isolated we become. Not only do we not need from others, but we are obligated to maintain what we have. That big beautiful house needs someone to clean it, repair it and pay the utilities, taxes and mortgage. All of that takes time. And it demands priority, or we will lose the things that bring us independence!
This has been on my heart since my reading, and I continue to ponder it. I hunger so deeply for a church that is unified, that has members who depend on and trust one another. I want to belong intimately to Something bigger than myself. As I constantly don’t find that, I pull further and further back, depending on and opening up to fewer and fewer people. It is ironic that my desire to go big has me smaller than ever.
Additionally, we are trapped financially. What once we could afford, now we cannot. My husband works 16 hour days to maintain our lifestyle and to pay our bills. But we aren’t getting ahead. In fact, things are getting worse. As the government continues to cut his pay and raise his insurance, my husband will just have to work more and more to merely maintain our trapped status.
How do we break free? How do we find dependence on Him and His body when it feels as though we are all single-celled organisms living next to one another, but never alongside?