Scripture - Acts 4:32 - All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
Theme - Community
Devotion - This verse is so unsettling to American Christians that most commentors begin by explaining away any interpretation or application of it that would challenge the status quo of our economic lives. But a plain reading of the text is clear. The resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit so transformed the disciples and those who joined them in the community of Christ that even their economic values and goals shifted. Jesus was Lord not only of the their spiritual lives but their financial lives as well. And their community conformed to God's will not only in spiritual practice, but in practical, material practice as well.
The thing is, this isn't nearly as shockingly radical or even as innovative as commentators seem to treat it. If we remember rightly when Jesus sent the discipes out on mission in Luke he sent them with little to nothing. They needed to rely on the kindness and generosity of families and communities they traveled too. In so doing Jesus was establishing communities of sharing, establishing practices of giving and receiving that shaped the disciples vision of what healthy and wholesome community should look like and be.
This expectation that communities that worshipped God would be generous is not new to Jesus. The laws that Moses received from God and established that we find in Exodus, Leviticus, & Deuteronomy repeated encourage Israel to have no poor among them, to organize systems of debt relief, such as the Jubilee year, and warn against the idolatry of wealth and possession. No, what Luke tells us about the early church isn't all that shocking. They are carrying out God's vision for human community since the very beginning. If you claim Jesus as Lord because he gave his life as a gift, and so you see your life as a gift carrying on his life of giving, how could you organize your life any other way. Do you think the church lives out this mission of sharing and giving? How do we do it well? Where do we need to grow? Might we need to repent and return to this vision of life in the community of Christ?
Prayer - Forgive us Lord for being more shaped by consumer culture than by your wisdom which makes us whole and happy. Continue to teach us how to live generous lives that find more joy in giving that buying, and more satisfaction in providing for others than in purchasing for ourselves.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.