Saturday, 10 May 2014

Life among the believers

Acts 2:43-47
Life among the Believers
 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

This picture of the early church seems so far removed from the experience of Christian communities today. No mention of persecution. No mention of trials and difficulties. Clearly a tool for propaganda or written at considerable distance with very short memories. I am struggling to preach this text this week. I give thanks for the privilege of the role I have serving this Christian community in this place at this time and for the sense of being a part of something that transcends  our limited concepts of space and time. I cling on to the hope we have in the God of life and eternity. But it is hard to find the excitement portrayed in this snapshot when so many folk are suffering and when faith is stretched to the limit. How do we preach these words to the bereaved and the hurting - especially when these words don't ring true even for the community they describe? Perhaps this is a more accurate description of "Life among the believers" today. It is for this community.

Gathered together again
mourning the loss of a loved one
Gathered together again
Bearing the pain
Sharing the burden
Stumbling over words of faith
that we believe
but nonetheless find hard to articulate.
Gathered together again
bringing food
and offers of help
with practical things
like child care
or grocery shopping
car maintenance
or transport.
Gathered together again
allowing space to vent
and repeat the stories
and the memories
and the events
that preceded loss.
Gathered together again
to comfort
and encourage
to embrace
and include.
Gathered together again
breaking bread
and hoping
that in the broken pieces
we will know
the presence of God
broken with us
in the midst
of our community 
broken and hurting together.
Gathered together again
clinging to hope
praying for courage
feeling the love.

1 comment:

Terri said...

Love. Prayers. May God comfort the grieving and bring solace to all who mourn, may God's love sooth the brittle edges of this sorrow.

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