They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
~ Acts 2:42-47
On Sunday, our pastor shared these verses from Acts with us. The part that stuck with me was that the believers were together. Regularly. Not just at a worship service on a Sunday morning. They met together daily. No wonder they were such a close-knit group who shared with each other and drew people in.
It wasn’t a socialistic group. They didn’t all throw their possessions into a central pot and let everyone dip out what they wanted. They simply cared about each other so much that they were willing to do what it took to help each other, even selling some of their own possessions to help the others. What a picture of sacrificial love, the kind we want to cultivate with the precious friends God’s given us.
So how do we do that?
That’s the question that I’m hoping to focus on answering this year. I think it all starts with being willing to invest the time in building relationships. People are SO busy today. Schedules are filled to the brim (and overflowing!?). We freak out at the mention of another time commitment coming our way. (Heart palpitations anyone?) Yet it’s time that we need to invest.
We were thrilled to be able to open our home to a group of our friends twice during the holidays. We enjoyed hosting the get-togethers, but it was more than just practicing hospitality. We basked in simply being together, developing and deepening our relationships with these people. Those moments of playing cards, eating dinner, and telling stories are priceless ties that bind our hearts to each other. They’re the foundation for deeper conversations down the road. They build trust so that we can share in the future. What looked like a Christmas party was more of a God moment, one that He’s using to deepen our fellowship.
I’m not sure what all this means for our 2014. I do know that God has placed an ever-deepening desire in my heart to throw open the doors of our home. I want people to feel welcome and safe here. I want this place to be a haven from a crazy world, one where people can say that they ‘ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God.’
Stay tuned to see how that all plays out.