July 16, 2009
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. Acts 2:44-45
According to the book of Acts, there was a time in the history of the Church when all things were held in common and shared.
Now it appears a woman in Westbury, New York, wants to revive that custom.
Police recently arrested her as she was leaving Our Lady of Hope Church. Apparently, the lady had developed a pattern of stealing from the purses of those who were sitting around her.
When the worshippers knelt down to pray, when the faithful went up for Communion, the woman reached into their purses and swiped their cash.
Since she "had need," this was her own way of having "all things in common" -- a way that was not looked upon with favor by her fellow worshippers.
Now I suppose there are some advantages in stealing while you're in church. If you're caught, people are more likely to be polite, less likely to pull a gun. On the other hand, stealing is still not a practice anyone would encourage.
Now, lest you think this devotion has no rhyme or reason, I have to say, "not so."
The early Church had a good idea in helping those who were part of the family of faith. It occurs to me that, right now, many congregations have somebody -- maybe a bunch of somebodies -- who are in need.
Tough times have almost guaranteed there are those who are unemployed or are worrying about losing a house. Most certainly, people are stressed.
So, what can we do? We who have received so much from the Savior, who gave His all when we had no hope, no future, no salvation, might want to do the same.
You employers, if you're hiring, why not post your position in a church's monthly newsletter? If you have some things you no longer need, why not offer to pass them on for free to someone who could use a boost.
You just never know whom the family of faith can touch when they move forward in thanks to the Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, the forgiveness I enjoy, the eternity You have promised are all blood-bought gifts. If I am in a position to help others, please open the doors and make the connection. This I ask, and do, in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries