We continue to look at the words that Jesus spoke on some of His first encounters after the resurrection. Not surprisingly, high on the agenda of what He wants to emphasise with the disciples is being at peace with one another and receiving the Holy Spirit to enable them to live as His ambassadors.
Looking at the early church it can very easily look idealistic but I am sure that there were many challenges. None of us finds sharing very easy so to live together and hold all things in common certainly must have held its challenges.
Differences of opinion are inevitable among human personalities and can actually be helpful, if handled well. But spiritual unity is essential – loyalty, commitment, and love for God and His word. Without spiritual unity, the church could not survive.
None of the early Christians felt that what they had was their own, and so they were able to give and share, eliminating poverty among them. They would not let a brother or sister suffer when others had plenty.
The same goes for our faith. We all too easily privatise or individualise the significance of the Easter story to what it means to ourselves as individuals and overlook the ‘communal’ dimension of it. What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean to our wider community and how can we work together to achieve this?
Just like the first disciples we need to be at peace with one another and ask God to fill us afresh with His Holy Spirit to know the love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, humility and self- control that only the Holy Spirt living in and through us can bring. Let’s prepare for a new Pentecost in ourselves and in our corporate church family.