Monday, June 4, 2012

After Pentecost

[caption id="attachment_181" align="alignright" width="261" caption="Happy Rebirthday ROSS"][/caption]

Our first “official” Sunday gathering (last week) was on Pentecost.  I thought it’d be cool to see what happened after the church’s first Pentecost, and see how we compared.  Luke wrote: 
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 
Acts 2:42

 Teaching, fellowship, food and prayer … sounds just like what we experienced together yesterday.  Now let’s see if we can “continually devote” ourselves to it as they did.  It’s odd to me that religious people these days feel the need to add to these basic, simple principles.  Why do we need to make it so complicated?  If teaching, fellowship, food and prayer is all we need to grow in Christ, to serve and love others … why add religious ritual, giant churches, buildings, politics and arguments over everything under the sun?  Let’s just keep it simple. 

 I propose we accept a few basic principles for ourselves in Godwor.  Let’s speak only where the bible speaks, and be silent where the bible is silent.  That way we can all let God do the talking, through His word … and leave our own flawed personal opinions out of it.  Just read the word, understand it, and obey.  What’s wrong with that? 

 Another idea I propose is that we don’t have a formal organization or doctrines or rules or creed or statement of faith.  Rather, let’s just call the whole New Testament our creed.  Do we really need to add to that or take from it?  Paul wrote this in a letter to the Ephesus church:
 I implore you to:

Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 There’s one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God & Father of all Who’s over all & through all & in all.

 But - to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Ephesians 4.1-7

 Since we already have one Lord, why do we need more “bosses” and organization?  So long as we are all submissive to Jesus (our ONE Lord), and to one another - why do we need more? 

 Simple, easy fellowship around the table; where we eat, study, teach, and pray … it sounds too casual, too simple for many people.  They don’t think imitating the original church of Christ is enough, for some reason.  Yesterday sitting around that table with you all was just about as good as it gets for me.  The words of Jesus are music to my ears.  Obeying him is an honor and privilege provided by his grace.  And being able to have a church gathering that’s exactly like the way it was in the first church – simple and deep – is a blessing many people will never be able to know.  I thank Our Father in Heaven for each of you. 

 Our next meeting will pick up again in Matthew 24.42-25 … as we’ll reflect on what we learned, and how it affected our week.  We will review the main points of those stories:

    • Be on the alert – care for our fellow slaves

    • Be prepared – keep those lamps burning

    • Invest / manage wisely

    • Worship God by going out of our way to love the hurting

 Remember to live for the six words.  Make it your life, your habit, your joy … to see God smile. 

 When we’re together next time we’ll encourage one another to be continual, to grow stronger and to become more loving and less selfish all the time – just like Jesus. 

 May Yahweh bless and keep you this week!

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