Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Thought

“Those who gladly received [Peter’s] word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  Acts 2:41-42

This past Sunday I made reference to an ancient document from the late first / early second century called “Didache” which means “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”.  Scholars do not agree on dating the document because there are no references by which to date.  I am pretty sure, however, there is a general consensus that the document was not written by the apostles themselves.

The reading from Acts, however, is a good indicator that something was begun that helped the Church to sustain colossal growth; something someone thought worthy of recording for future generations as the Church’s influence spread – the “apostles’ doctrine”.  Note that the “apostles’ doctrine” was only one of the components of the early Church.  In the Spirit which was clearly present, the other components included “fellowship”, sharing meals, and being in prayer with and for one another.  These things combined to create and sustain what is defines the “apostolic” Church.  Nothing in matters of the soul was taken for granted, and nothing was assumed as a given.  The new Church grew from inward desire to experience the Lord in His fullness – which necessarily includes celebration (worship) AND “pot lucks” AND prayer AND study of the apostles’ teachings.

There is much more to the Christian faith than just being baptized and calling oneself a “Christian”.  It is long past time for the Church to recover this fullness so the many who have convinced themselves they can live without the Church can discover for themselves what there is to be so excited about.  We are excited about it, aren’t we??  In the early days of the Methodist movement John Wesley did not allow that “newly awakened” souls could be left to their own devices because “the devil himself desires nothing more than this, that the people of any place should be half-awakened and then left to themselves to fall asleep again”.

Let us awaken from our slumber.  We’ve slept long enough.



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