Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Third Sunday after Pentecost: June 17, 2012

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Third Sunday after Pentecost: June 17, 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.* 


 

[42] And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44] And all who believed were together and had all things in
common.[45] And they were selling their
possessions and belongings and distributing
the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46] And
day by day, attending the temple together and
breaking bread in their homes, they received their
food with glad and generous hearts, [47] praising
God and having favor with all the people. And the 
Lord added to their number day by day those who
were being saved.
Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

These verses give a picture of an experience of community that is surprising in its ordinariness, especially so quickly on the heels of the extraordinary events of Pentecost. The verses thus serve as a reminder that God’s renewing work by His Spirit has implications for everyday events and decisions, including seemingly mundane ones like how we use our material resources (“they were selling their possessions”), where and with whom we eat (“breaking bread in their homes”) and the attitude with which we receive gifts (“they received their food with glad and generous hearts”).

In fact, while many people came to faith as a direct result of the Spirit’s extraordinary arrival at Pentecost, v. 47 clearly indicates that many continue to come to faith as a result of the Spirit’s ongoing presence among God’s people (“the Lord added to their number day by day...”).

 
What’s remarkable about this community is the way in which its values are practiced and reinforced in every context of community life. There is the breaking of bread corporately (v. 42: commentators have suggested that the word “the” signifies a shared institutional experience, namely the Lord’s Supper) which translates into sharing of meals in homes (v. 46). There are worship gatherings of many people (v. 42) but also in smaller groups day by day (“day by day, attending the temple together”). Likewise, worship permeates both corporate life (“awe came upon every soul”) and home life (“day by day...praising God and having favor with all the people”).

What we see is a community that “day by day” worships together, is thankful for what they’ve received, and shows generosity and hospitality to all. And what was the result? “And the Lord added to their number day by those who were being saved.”
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor


Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer

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