Pentecost Prayer

The Power of Community Living

This devotional is written by Shane Beales. Shane is thankful to be experiencing lockdown with his wife Kat and daughters Ada and Orly.

Acts 2:42-47


42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Reflection

During lockdown, I have noticed an increased sense of community both in our immediate vicinity and online. Being forced to slow down has really supported getting to know people better.

Flats

In our block of flats, neighbours are continually offering to buy things for one another when they go out shopping. Our corner shop on Old Kent road has effectively turned into a mini Costco wholesaler. I bought 41 kilos of flour a few weeks ago because all they were selling were these enormous bags. Kat has started offering it out to the neighbours. (Whenever she does this my reaction to her generosity is an accurate sign of the state of my own heart - generous or otherwise!)


Faith

We have also been having some really great gatherings with our St Mary's small group. Although we are on zoom, there is a genuine sense of togetherness and a tangible sense of God's spirit whenever we pray for one another.

If I were to think of what it would be like to combine these two communities - 'the Faith and the Flats' - then I can start to imagine what this community in Acts may have felt like.

All the believers were together
I think key to this passage is the sense of togetherness - both with the Holy Spirit and one another - that in turn releases our hearts to be able to share what we have with those who we are with (both online and offline).

This principle does not just relate to finances. It is also at work in the following chapter when Peter heals a lame man saying, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." (Acts 3:6)

Balcony gigs
Less dramatically, in my case this has been simply singing a few songs for our neighbours on Sunday afternoons. We have been hosting balcony gigs, which have been great opportunities to gather as a little community and be together. I am convinced this has helped contribute to an increase in generosity in our neighbourhood. Even from a flour-hoarder like me!

Ask God today how you can share what you have with those who you are with.

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