Acts 2:41-47 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.
The passage above is such a great reminder to who we are to be in the Lord. This early group of followers, fairly small and unknown, living in a city that had crucified the very one they followed, Jesus the Lord. Yet they chose to live their faith that would change the world today. The apostle's teachings, prayer, fellowship and radical unity of spirit generously bound them together. They found such joy of gathering and learning from each other in the moment that they invited others, who invited others and so on until someone invited you. And now we are here, in this house of worship, and it’s our turn to keep the truth going.
We each have a role in God's story here at EOCC. The power of the Holy Spirit moved the first Christians to share their possessions, setting aside their own gain or desire to bless others. Their spirit made their lives joyous in the situation and location they were. How does your readiness to find joy in sharing where you are at reflect God’s impact on your life. How do you respond to being part of a congregation that specifically and intentionally exist to reach beyond our walls, to reach and uplift our neighbors and communities?
This weekend I experienced the joy of this congregation gathering where it is at and serving in great joy. I appreciated the underlying message that, while we may not be everything to everybody, we are unified in serving others. We are unified in serving God here and now, for loving each other at our own costs. For me that is what Thanksgiving is all about. We gather to share what we have, where we are at and the blessings God has given this community of believers here.
I have said this before, but I think it is worth repeating; we live in a world that wants," I need this or that in my life." And I hear many say n response to the world's lie, God is calling me. But the early church was never set up that way. In fact, it was a gathering to give unto others, to serve and share the hope , the gospel the this and that of life, even in the uncomfortableness of gathering where our Lord was crucified. The apostles did not look to what they did not have, but in what they did have where they were at. Then they invited others. May we live our lives inviting others into this congregation and God's kingdom here at EOCC. Happy Thanksgiving, pastor Carl
Lord God almighty, I give thanks to you for the divine purpose and timing that together weave opportunity throughout my life. I thank you for the trials of life even though I may not understand. I do believe oh Lord there is an answer to every prayer and with this awareness I accept and give thanks for the abundant good that is mine to claim and share with others. Lord, I pray for others to see your church as a place to gather and hear your Word, to pray, to serve others, and to give hope. May we see our role as the early church saw theirs. May we turn from the impact of the world today that says it about what I need and remember the teachings of Your Son, Jesus. It is through Him we pray, Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006