Acts 4:32-37

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Evangeline Dai.

“Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:32-37

This property sharing story seems so much like Communism that it reminds me of the “People’s Commune” that took place in China in 1958. Without Christian faith as a foundation, many people work as little as possible but eat as much as possible. Without love and mercy, the governors oppressed people, together with the horrible rules, it terribly failed at last.

Inspired by the scriptures, many Christians have since tried to follow their example of having a  community of goods and common ownership. One Anabaptist group began a community of goods in 1528. By 1793, property had been made a “consecrated whole” in each Shaker community. Sir Thomas More described a fictional society of equality in economics, government and justice in his 1516 book “Utopia.” Karl Marx popularized the slogan “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” in 1875. However, the Bible only affirms “from each according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15), but not “to each according to his needs.”

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

A Chinese saying goes, “Money is just an external thing that is not part of your body, you were born without it, and you can’t bring it with you when you die.” And Jesus told us “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, … but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-20) After all, everything we have is from God’s work of creation.

Do you remember the five missional marks of Faith Lutheran Church? The 5th is “Faith Blesses – Extraordinary Generosity and Service.” So do not hesitate, hurry up and contribute your possessions, your abilities, and your time to God!

Let us pray: Dear Lord, thank you for teaching us to love one another and to offer what we have. We shall not only keep our possessions for our own use, but also to share with others especially those who are in need. Blessed be God, who is our bread; may all the world be clothed and fed. In the victorious Jesus’ name, Amen.

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One Response to “Acts 4:32-37”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    Evangeline, (such a pretty name and not very common today), like an evangelist you have explained this scripture from Acts 4 very clearly as it relates to us today.

    Faith Lutheran’s 5th mission statement that “faith blesses extraordinary generosity and service” is a good directive.

    I also really like your poetic prayer line, “blessed be God, who is our bread; may all the world be clothed and fed.”

    Blessings to you, Rv Kerry and your Faith Lutheran congregation.

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