Valuing Christian Community
My neighbors have always been able to talk with one another. We met together in our Neighborhood Watch Program for about 2 years. Early last summer we hosted a neighborhood picnic with around 30 people in attendance. Soon after, we cease meeting because of lack of attendance. We have been mostly out of touch since. So, this past week I made it a point to connect with the families around me.
One neighbor was experiencing a “new normal.” The company this individual works for was recently purchased and this new company immediately laid off 70% of the workforce. This neighbor is doing 12 jobs which have been rolled in one and is thankful.
Another neighbor has been without a job for 1 1/2 years, but has just accepted a job which will start mid-May.
As we checked our mail, I talked to the neighbor in a family of three who are all still working – one works at home and the other two travel to work.
I discovered that a young neighbor, rather new to the neighborhood, was recently laid off. This neighbor hopes to get back in May. As I was talking to this neighbor I waved to the elderly person who lives a couple houses down who came out to talk with a masked visitor.
Each of these families live a different life style. If we were not neighbors, we would not see nor care about each other. All of us are concerned with this disease and how it affects our lives. Our futures are somewhat cloudy, but we are hopeful of what is next. Life changed for all of us drastically a month ago, and we are still adjusting. What do we do next?
Acts 2:37-47 reminds me that life can change significantly. Let’s see how?
Vs 37-41 – As Peter preached about Christ, those present were struck with the Truth and grasped their need for Jesus. They got the message, so they asked, “What shall we do? Peter responded, “Repent,… Be baptized… for the remission of sins, and… receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When they did this, they reset their priorities. When you know Christ Jesus, nothing is more important. So, they stayed in Jerusalem, trusting God for what would be next.
Vs 42-46 – They now had a new normal. They were now connected to God’s family. As new believers they are being taught the faith by those who know it; they are in fellowship and enjoying each other; they are experiencing God’s provisions, and they are praying to and worshipping God.
Vs 47 – They praised and enjoyed God. Thus, they received favor from the people around them and more people came to value this new Christian Community.
As we go through the challenges of this trial, what are we to do? What truth has God struck in us that we need to respond to? Let’s pray for our priorities to be reset to allow God more access in our lives and to value at a deeper level our family, neighbors, friends and fellow believers. As we do this, let’s pray also to be a witness for Christ that finds favor with others, so they will seek Him also.