41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. 43 A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. 44 All the believers were united and shared everything. 45 They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. 46 Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. 47 They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.
In one day, the Christian church in Jerusalem went from about 120 members (cf. Acts 1:15) to roughly 3,120 members! How did they nurture those new believers? We tend to focus on the apostles’ teaching, on prayer, on generous giving—all key. But we often skip over one facet of their spiritual growth so telling Luke named it twice. They “shared meals” (verse 42) and “shared food with gladness and simplicity” (verse 46). This was so vital that writing in Acts 27 about Paul urging shipwreck survivors to eat, Luke used Lord’s Supper language: “he took bread, gave thanks to God in front of them all, then broke it” (cf. Acts 27:33-36). The Message rendered Acts 2:46 as, “They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.”
Lord God, I hunger, not just to feed my body, but my soul and the souls of others. Help me learn to combine the two, to bless and be blessed by others as we share meals. Amen.
During communion, we share a simple meal together and remember and give thanks for the life of Jesus. How can your family give of yourselves by sharing a meal with someone, in honor of Jesus and His love? Think of a person or a family who might be sad, lonely or outcast. Invite them to your home for a simple meal or suggest you meet at a park for a picnic. Take it a step further and visit a homeless shelter where meals are served. Volunteer to help serve meals and sit with the people who are present. By listening and caring, you will be honoring the presence of Christ for all people.
* Brennan Manning, A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003, p. 56.
I have always enjoyed this Scripture passage from Acts. I love the picture it paints of the church! When I was growing up I had the opportunity to attend a Methodist camp during my summer breaks. One summer while at this camp, I was introduced to this passage and a new Greek word, koinonia. There is something about the way that word rolls off your tongue, right? Ever since camp, I’ve just always thought that was such a cool word to know.
If you google “koinonia”, you find the following definition: Christian fellowship or communion, with God or, more commonly, with fellow Christians. This fellowship, this koinonia, has always been my favorite part of the church. Whether we are having communion together in our sanctuary, experiencing learning by participating in a Passover Seder, having cookies and coffee at Coffee with the Pastor, sharing awesome snack creations at Building Better Moms, or enjoying pancakes outside between services, the feeling is the same. Koinonia. I BELONG. I AM ACCEPTED., I AM LOVED. I AM NOT ALONE.
Koinonia is something special that happens when we gather together in God’s name. Have you ever noticed though that somehow, when food is involved, it is like koinonia on steroids! There is something about food that brings people together no matter where you are--home, church, school, work, out with friends, and no matter who you are.
If it’s been a while since you have experienced koinonia, what are you waiting for? Commit to being in worship each weekend. That’s a for sure way to experience koinonia. I would also encourage you to join one of the many studies and groups kicking off this fall, or to find a way to connect by serving. You can find tons of opportunities to get connected on the church web site, www.cor.org. Then after that, why don’t you order a pizza, gather your family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors, and enjoy the fellowship. Because, you know, food!
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