As I’ve mentioned previously, our church is currently studying Acts together. Last Sunday, we worked our way through most of Acts 2. Next Sunday, we’re planning to finish that chapter.
Of course, Acts 2 includes this amazing summary of the new life that those first believers shared in Christ:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 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)
Did you notice that twice Luke writes “day by day”? And, beyond that phrase, notice the number of descriptions that require close and constant interaction: “they devoted themselves” (literally, “they kept on being faithful to…”), “were together,” “had all things in common,” etc.
These early disciples did not see each other on Sunday and then live the rest of the week separated from one another. They were intimately connected with one another’s lives – right away! This does not necessarily mean that they gave up everything else in their lives. It means that they included one another in every aspect of their lives.
It is so much different today. Today, if Christians see each other in the crowd on Sunday, then that’s enough. If we also see each other on Wednesday night, then we call it a close relationship. If we grab a plate and scarf down our food quickly before prayer meeting, then we call it fellowship.
But, in our neighborhoods? In our work places? In our schools? At the park? No. We don’t hang out with one another in those places… only in the church building for church sanctioned programs.
The focus on Sunday (and the church building and the church program and church leadership) is killing the church.
But, when Sunday becomes just another day out of the week, and we learn to actually share our lives with one another throughout the week, wherever we are, and whatever we’re doing, we will see new life – the life of Christ through the Spirit – coursing through the church again. Why? Because when we fellowship (actually fellowship) with one another, we are truly fellowshiping with God the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
(No, this post is not about honoring one day above others – which would have been a reference to Saturday, the Sabbath. In the early church, even those believers who honored the Sabbath above other days ALSO shared their lives with one another often during the week, not just on that one day.)