“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.” Acts 4:32-33
This month includes World Communion Sunday. People all over the world are reminded that God desires all people to live together under a common covenant. God came and shared God’s life with us. Jesus revealed this most wholeheartedly in the meal he shared with his disciples when he said, “This is my body…this is my blood of the new covenant…” As I think about this, I am reminded of what Joseph Hellerman said in his book When the Church Was a Family:
- We share our stuff with one another
- We share our hearts with one another
- We stay, embrace the pain, and grow up with one another
- Family is about more than me
People in our culture tend to make decisions unilaterally. Often what happens is that a decision is made and then we look for support for our decision. We look for evidence to say that our decision is right. There is little reflection about whether the decision is best for God’s family, the immediate family, the community, or the world. Can you imagine how much better our lives would be if we hesitated with all our impulsive decisions and asked a few basic questions? Does this decision honor God? Have I included God on this decision? Have I included people of wisdom on this decision? Have I talked with those that this decision might affect? Have I considered the consequences of this decision? Am I treating everyone as sacred with this decision? Am I being completely truthful with myself and others? Does this decision involve generosity and thankfulness? Is this decision trying to avoid legitimate suffering? Is this the most loving thing to do? Am I making this decision from a place of hurt or fear? Does this decision lead to criticism and rejection of others? Is this a decision of humility that prevents pride? Is this a decision that respects others and leads to encouragement?
The above scripture says that the early church took so seriously their common covenant that they made decisions from a position of being one heart and soul so that they did not even consider their own possessions as merely being their own. They believed that ultimately their possessions belonged to God and God’s family. This is quite a challenge to how we make decisions today.