S (Scripture): Acts 4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 34 For there was no one needy among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them and bringing the proceeds from the sales 35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
O (Observation): So the first Christians held things in common. This is done for the common good. No one wanted or was in need. Is this an idealized version of the first Christian community? Maybe. But it’s a good example.
Nothing was individually owned. Everything was for the good of the community. Those who had much, gave much; those who had little used what they needed.
A (Application): Thankfully, I see this generosity in many of the members of the church I serve. I see great generosity amongst those who have, and I see much appreciation for those who don’t have. We are a long way from perfect, but according to the track record of giving, I’d say we are well on our way to seeing that all we have is God’s, and therefore all we have is to be used for God’s glory, and not our own.
We have recently invested in our physical building (with successful campaigns to pay for a small building repair loan), mission support (to the ELCA and to the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA), as well as in our community.
Recently, we held an angel tree program. We had an abundance of gifts given to give away at a Christmas party at Patterson Park Community Center, for their after-school program. The picture above is from that party. Thrivent Financial also gave to support this project. It was a great partnership between Advent Lutheran Church, Patterson Park Community Center, and Thrivent.
Holding things in common. Seems like a win-win. Thanks be to God!
P (Prayer): Lord, when we give, we receive. Thank you for helping us to establish this partnership with our local community center. Help us to walk with others and to learn from one another. Amen.