By Pastor Wes Poole
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. – NRSV
Easter is still not quite over. The festival liturgy of Easter Sunday may behind us for another year, but the season has carried on for its appointed fifty days, preparing us for the months ahead. Moreover, this year, we have been able to celebrate this holiest of seasons in person, beginning with Palm Sunday. This year, the echoes of “Christ is Risen indeed!” reverberate extra sweetly through these special days as we continue celebrating the greatest single event in the history of the human race. It is during these fifty days, as we move from Easter Sunday to the Day of Pentecost, when we begin to see how the celebration and the practice of our faith intersect. Is it enough to shout with joy, “Christ is Risen”? In a word, no. If we are truly to understand the enormity of what Our Lord has done for us, then we must be able, like those apostles of the early Christian Church, to use that Easter momentum to put our faith to work in the lives of others. St. Luke, the author of Acts, tells us that the early Christians went to great lengths to make Christ known to their neighbors. Indeed, it appears that they spared nothing, not even their own possessions, in the pursuit of showing others what God had done in Jesus Christ. It is interesting that in two thousand years, very little has changed in that respect. Today, the Christian Church is much larger and more marvelously diverse than ever. We span the entire world and command a great many more resources. Still, our mission has not changed substantively from that of those first believers. There are still people who need to hear the Good News, there are still the poor, hungry, sick, and needy looking for comfort which we can provide in the name of Jesus Christ. We still need to come together weekly to worship and share the Holy Meal which provides refreshment and renewed energy, and to share our resources so that others may find comfort and relief. Of all the wonderful things that can be said about our God, our faith, and our mission in His Creation, this one thing remains true…none of the above is static. Our God is alive, at work in our lives right this minute! He asks us to take our faith and do the same; to be His co-workers in the Kingdom, making a difference in the lives of all whom we touch. As the Easter season winds down and the summer months approach, let us keep our faith alive by continually acting upon it. Christ is Alive! We now have new life in him. May we always live that new life joyfully and faithfully.
Let us pray..
God of justice and generosity, renew in us all the zeal and enthusiasm to serve you by serving others. Like those earliest Christians, instill in us the will and the real desire to share our time, talents, and treasures with our church’s ministries, and wherever we see need in our communities. Jesus has shown us the way; may we be his hands in the world today, for it is in his name that we pray. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe!
Pastor Wes †