Devotional/Reflection: There are some things in life that require community. As an avid baseball fan, I love watching baseball. Living in Missouri, it was exciting a few years ago watching the Royals win game after game. One of the things I loved about that Royals team was that although they had a core of great players, no one player stood out far and above the rest of the team, unlike many of the teams they had beaten that year. It’s a great reminder that baseball is a sport that cannot be won, or even lost, by one player. It is a team effort, and each player must put his teammates in a position to succeed and encourage them to do so when the time comes. In his sermon, Jeremy used the illustration of a man he met who had scaled Everest, and his sentiment was similar–no one climbs Everest alone. Too often, however, we approach the Christian life as an individual. It’s me and God and that’s it. Yet the earliest church had no such delusions. From the moment the church was formed on the day of Pentecost it was about a people in community. Acts 2:42-47 tells the story of what happened once 3000 persons were saved after Peter’s Pentecost sermon. And the story Acts tells is one of community, a community who devotes themselves to four things–the Apostle’s teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers. As Christians who read the Bible, we know that a personal relationship with God is necessary, but we sometimes miss that we are encouraged, challenged, and corrected in this endeavor through community. In Acts, Luke makes it a point to show not only here but on several occasions that we cannot miss this vital aspect of the Christian life. Church is not simply something we attend out of duty or for our own spiritual edification, but church is a people–a community–at times gathered together and at times scattered throughout a city but always in fellowship and mutual encouragement for living out the gospel.
1. In what ways are you involved in Christian community?
2. How can you be more intentional in serving and encouraging others in community?
3. How might Acts 2:42-47 refocus our idea of “church”? How might it affect our search for a local church or how we serve in the church?
Scripture Memory: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common.”–Acts 2:44