Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's Live Together

"I'm asking God for one thing, only one thing. To live with Him in His house my whole life long." (Psalm 27:4)
I wonder about the so-called American Dream.  I wonder if it's really something that churches or Christians ought to embrace.  I especially wonder about that part of the American Dream that stands for individual success and the idea that individuals or individual family units ought to handle life on their own. 

The American Dream can stand in opposition to what is really good for us, that is, living in the "house of the Lord."  For Christians, the "house of the Lord" equals the Christian community.

When the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples (first about 120 of them, then 3000 or more) one of the many things it did was to lead them to live together instead of being independent.  This doesn't mean they all lived together in one house, but they spent way more time together than typical Christians do today in the United States.

How can we build a church family that better reflects God's desire for us to depend upon one another?  In the past few months, even in the past two days, God has been speaking to me through people who have deep emotional and practical needs, calling me to call our new church (Crossroads) to more fully live together, especially with and for the weakest and most vulnerable among us.

As we prepare for the Crossroads church meeting on Sunday, please read and pray over the following Bible passages from Acts, asking God to take away any false "independence" that would keep us from God's will.
Acts 2:38-47

Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.’ And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Life among the Believers

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 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, 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. When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:31-35

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.
Pray first.  Then read scripture.  Then pray again.  Talk with others.  Then pray again.  Then, if you believe God is calling you to come alongside friends and neighbors in the Dassel-Cokato area through the Crossroads church through the end of this year, please sign the statement described at "Past the Launch."  That will entitle you to voice and vote in important decisions that will be coming up soon.  This Sunday, Crossroads will select and elect a transitional leadership team to help us move forward.  See "Getting Practical" for more on that.


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