Peace be with you!
The early apostles devoted themselves to building a strong community centered on Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The apostles lived as Jesus had taught them – a simple life. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need (Acts 2:45). The apostles took care of those who needed extra tender love and care.
I wonder what God thinks of his disciples today I wonder what God thinks of disciples who allow people to remain homeless, allow the disabled to remain uncared for, allow children to go hungry, and allow [whoever “it” is] to continue to suffer. Christians often say the homeless are too lazy to work. Others say the disabled belong in institutions. Yet each individual has a reason for needing extra care and love. The young women who is homeless may be hiding from an abusive ex-husband. The elderly man who is disabled maybe a war veteran. We are so quick to judge and so slow to listen to the story behind a life that is broken. As Jesus’ followers, it is our calling to tend to the needs of the less fortunate.
As a person who has cerebral palsy, I understand the importance of a community, which works together for the common good. On the average day, I have three to five people coming in and out of my home to help me. The first personal caregiver comes at ten in the morning and is with me four to six hours depending on what I need during the day. She feeds me breakfast and lunch, helps me with shopping, does light housecleaning, and gets me to my appointments. Usually Kim, my step-dad, joins me for breakfast to see if I need his help with anything, such as fixing [whatever “it” is] I broke the night before or running an errand for me. The second personal caregiver comes around five o’clock to feed me dinner and [whatever “it” is] I need set up or organized for the night. Then there are the young man who cleans the pool once a week and my brother who mows my yard twice a week. I also have a landscaper who comes periodically to check on my plants. Although my color-coded planner is overwhelming, I am at ease with the constant flow of people in and out of my home.
Depending on others for daily survival comes naturally to me, and it is also what Jesus teaches us to do in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-13). The early disciples embody this by selling all of their possessions and taking care of those who need extra love and care. The apostles understand the importance of taking care of their own, because everyone needs help and love. It should not matter if you are homeless, disabled, or poor, because we are all children of God.
As Christians, we are to live in a community with each other and love and care for one another. This was important to the early apostles. They spent their days in the temple (Acts 2:46a) studying scripture and worshipping God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. At night, the apostles gather for dinner and break bread together (Acts 2:46b). Gathering as community builds relationships among neighbors, even between individuals you would not expect to get along. A community takes cares of its people.
There is no greater joy than gathering around a table with friends and family members and sharing a meal. In my family, dinnertime always involves laughter and loud talking with hands flying. No matter what kind of day you had, you can always count on dinnertime being entertaining, especially with my mom who enjoys finding the comedy in life. Even as an adult, I still love having dinner with my mom, because 1) I get a good cooked meal, and 2) I am able to discuss the day’s challenges with her and get her insights. Discussing your daily challenges with individuals who uphold the same morals helps keep things in perspective and keeps you grounded.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for blessing us with a community in the family of God. Gather us into your community where individuals love and care for one another. Lead us to welcome others into our community. Thank you for loving and caring for us as your children. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- What communities are you a part of?
- Who do you gather with to share a meal?