It is post Pentecost in this Sunday’s scripture (even though by the calendar we are still walking toward that date), the end of Acts 2. The church birthed on Pentecost. Before it was a group of disciples, waiting, praying, hoping, not knowing what to expect. After that morning when the Spirit fell like a rushing wind, it was an organism, a body, a linked unit of people moving together in concert. It was a sudden shift.
Certainly they did not do everything together, they all still had their various jobs. But even so, everything had changed. No longer were they afraid, they boldly proclaimed the risen Christ. No longer were they hiding, they were everywhere, and as a body always growing, first by addition and then by multiplication. It was a movement with a mission set by Jesus that shook the establishment.
So what are we to do with this church thing? I mean, we can look at this first picture of the early church in Acts 2 and believe, falsely, that that was all they ever were -- healthy, sharing, giving, dynamic, bold and transforming. But scripture is ruthlessly honest. Although the early movement grew rapidly, it also ran into major difficulties with deception, arguments, comparisons, persecution and the like, all within the first months.
It is helpful to us not to glorify this early movement, and believe it was perfect. But what can we learn from the early church? What can we see happening which we may be able to learn from as we seek to continue this movement today?
This Sunday we will look together at how this early fledgling community became the “word made flesh” in their era. They did not just preach, they embodied the scriptures. It was not the word become word, but the word made flesh among them that spoke the loudest to their contemporaries. This is where we can still apply what God wants for us today -- today still, we are called to this same thing, to make the Word flesh through our corporate lives. How does all that we do lend toward this desire? That’s what we will be asking on this Mother’s Day.