Monday Devotional: April 24, 2023



Bible Reading: Acts 2:42-47 (NRSVUE)

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 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, 47 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.

Early in my ministry life, I was asked, “What would happen if one hundred new families suddenly showed up at your church?” This seemed so far-fetched that I hadn’t given it any thought. I would be unprepared. But for the early church community, this was a daily reality. We may idealize the life of the early church, but I imagine that any community that grows thirtyfold overnight faces challenges.

Luke tells us that those gathered before Pentecost numbered 120 persons (see Acts 1:15); after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the church grew extensively, adding 3,000 new believers (2:41). But unlike the challenges I imagine we would face today, this growing Spirit-led community live in harmony — a harmony grounded in their shared connection to Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today we can find communities of faith that share life together through teaching, fellowship, shared meals, and prayer. As in the early church, such connections are through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. But something stands out in the text that sets us believers apart: the radical generosity believers had for one another — a generosity in sharing possessions and life.

The reality of the early church may seem beyond our modern reach. But how can we prepare and practice daily a Spirit-empowered life that attracts those who feel abandoned by the world, those who can find a home with us?

The witness of the early church offers us a glimpse of a kingdom reality that is possible when we open ourselves to the movement of the Holy Spirit and live as a community of faith.


Draw us to your love, Lord, so we may grow in our love for others, Draw us to grace so we may live in grace with others. Help us to dream of a world where all people practice generosity and love. Amen.

By Jefferson Furtado, The Upper Room Disciplines 2023, page 148.