“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the
breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many
wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.” (Acts 2:42-43)
Luke’s description of the early church demonstrates the ideal for which all believers
should strive. The early church was more of a family than an organization. There was a
stark absence of selfishness, gossip, ill-will, and church politics. The central focus was
on worship and the word of God. There was Love, harmony, and peace. Everyone not
only got along with their neighbors and fellow believers. They shared their wealth and
food with one another and with those in need with grace and mercy. They demonstrated
God’s kindness and love for all mankind.
Such compassion, generosity and love were lacking in ancient times even in Israel even
though kindness and charity were demands of God’s Law. Yet throughout the history of
Israel such laws were generally ignored or reinterpreted. Yet these very characteristics
of the early Christians demonstrated the power and presence of God Almighty with
them. The loving behavior of these believers is what attracted other people to them and
enabled the church to grow.
The church, we believers, need to continue to follow the example of our First Century
spiritual ancestors. We are to share God’s love with all for we are called to be His
instruments of grace. We must extend the love of Christ Jesus to everyone even those
with whom we disagree or who do not like us. Unity comes not through political
affiliations, national origins, or shared ethnicity. Unity comes by faith in Jesus.