What does it mean to be Easter people, to live on this side of the resurrection? One thing, for sure. We are now God’s hands and feet in the world – we are the ones entrusted with carrying out God’s mission.
That sounds both exciting and terrifying doesn’t it? After all, Jesus left us big shoes to fill and the needs around us are overwhelming.
But the good news is that throughout history, God has empowered and used imperfect people just like us to bring the good news to others.
As we hear the stories of some of those people this week, may we be empowered to be Easter people as well.next >
The community of believers was one in heart and mind. None of them would say, “This is mine!” about any of their possessions, but held everything in common. The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all. There were no needy persons among them. Those who owned properties or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds from the sales, and place them in the care and under the authority of the apostles. Then it was distributed to anyone who was in need.
Acts 4:32-35next >
Reading today’s passage, I think, “Now that’s how Easter people are supposed to live.” I wish I could have experienced that kind of unity and unselfishness in the church, don’t you? Imagine everyone agreeing, everyone sharing, and no one needing anything. Although it’s easy to long for the “good old days” in Jerusalem, we only have to read three more verses before troubles return. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira drop dead after lying to Peter, the apostles are persecuted for their faith, and the widows are neglected.
Sometimes we get discouraged with all the problems in the church and we want to walk away. I wonder if the members of the early church felt that way too. The good news is that even if they wanted to give up sometimes, they didn’t. When things got incredibly difficult, they kept on, working to be all that God called them to be. On second thought, maybe that’s what it really means to live like Easter people. May we all seek to follow their example.
Tracy Hartmannext >
God, help me live my life in such a way that I am part of the solution, not part of the problem. For if I share what I have and take only what I need, there will always be enough for everyone. Amen.next >
He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.
Go and be Easter people.
Tracy Hartman serves on the faculty of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in Richmond VA where she teaches preaching and directs the seminary’s internship program. She also enjoys preaching and teaching throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Tracy and her husband Jay are the parents of two grown children. Tracy enjoys traveling and all kinds of fiber arts.
Wondrous Love: Be Thou My Vision
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