And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of things which they possessed was his own; but the had all things common.
- Acts 4:32
I think this is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible and I have written about it before.
One thing this virus brings with it is a time to reflect on the closeness implied in this verse. Not only God's family but other families are becoming closer.
I was speaking to a worker on site yesterday who spent most of Easter at his own home, when, normally, he would be ‘up the river with mates throwing a line in.” Being married for 36 years, he said this amount of time spent with his wife was odd, but he enjoyed it.
How many people are you now seeing walking around the streets together of an evening? This is what families did back in the ’40s. last night I was on the front porch with my laptop sitting in my old cane chair with the padded seat (which gets soaked when southerly rains come in). I was astounded at the number of people out walking. I probably should have been walking myself, but I had the Lord's work to do (😇).
These are not great times for some families, as it causes us all to face our mortality. Yet, there is something else going on. This lockdown is the cause of many people coming closer together than they have been for many years.
When the Apostle Peter was released from the inner prison by the angel, he knocked on the door of the place where the prayer group gathered. It was the Christian family, possibly hiding from Herod’s anti-Christ police who were door-knocking at that time.
They were in one accord offering up prayers and discussing Scripture, without the usual arguments or animosity. They had risen to that level which is above the petty stuff. They released their hearts for God’s love to permeate and rule, whilst still facing their mortality.
Despite the fears of catching the virus, this lockdown can be a time of bringing people closer to God and each other. We can take this opportunity to put on the clothing of faith, one-mind, one-heart and one-soul, and drop the petty stuff for good. Let’s not pick it up again after this virus is over. Make the change permanent, and remain up at that elevation of love for which the early church was so widely known and deeply appreciated.
We can purpose this time to strip ourselves of our self-ness. Once the toilet rolls and pasta were stripped from the store shelves, people started to realise their panic was just that, panic. They then began sharing some of their purchases. Of course, there were others, like Ananias and Sapphira of Acts 5, who devised to sell the toilet rolls and hand sanitiser on Gumtree, to little avail. The rest of us share and co-use what we have. This can be a precious time. The Acts church were under threat, but in perilous moments God’s love has the opportunity to spread itself more easily.
Be of one mind with Christ, ring someone different today and see how they are doing through all this. See how you can make a difference for them. Explore what you can do to enrich their lives in this inestimable moment in time.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thanks for the deep meaning in this simple verse. Please help me to help someone different today, to enrich their lives even a little bit in these trying times and to open my heart to your graces and love, and upgrade my love to the next plane.