The Reading: Acts 2:41-47
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (v. 42) RSV
What is a church for and what should the members be doing? Their first effort is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, their second is to strengthen themselves and their third is to go out to love and serve the world.
Today’s reading describes the second of these great callings. Every Christian whether newly formed or of long standing requires regular input, nurture, challenge and strengthening. If we neglect to gather together for these purposes we will atrophy away and become weak and ineffective.
So, when we gather together it is not just for worldly tittle-tattle or a social rubbing of shoulders with those whom we naturally get along with. It is not for entertainment or because the church people are the only friends we have.
The reason for gathering is summed up in our verse for today. They ‘devoted’ themselves to these things. There was commitment and desire. This can take place to some extent at the Sunday service, but also in a midweek gathering. They did four things:
- Learning – the apostles’ teaching (now recorded for us in the Bible)
- Fellowship – talking, sharing and supporting one another
- Communion – not only in Bread & Wine, but in hospitality (‘generously’) (v. 46)
- Praying – set prayers, extemporary prayers, or silent prayers, yet together
A church that devotes itself primarily to these four things will be a church that glorifies God and loves the world for which he died.
Dear Lord, forgive us when we are too lazy or too distracted to meet with other believers. And when we do meet, forgive us when we have failed to use the time to strengthen ourselves in the faith. Thank you for the examples of those early disciples. Amen
1 What can happen if we meet with wrong motives?
1 Corinthians 11:29-30
2 What is the purpose of meeting together?