Inspired by Acts 2:42-47
“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Acts 2:44-45 (NRSV)
Whenever the church starts to talk about money, people get uncomfortable. How much to give to the church, how much to give to charity, how you should prioritize your expenses—most people just don’t want to hear it.
Some of this discomfort comes from individual selfishness, but some of it stems from the knowledge that resources taken for the sake of a ‘greater good’ are often mismanaged or even stolen. Or there may be disagreement as to what really constitutes a ‘greater good,’ and those whose money is taken feel that those who are taking it are giving it to those who don’t deserve it.
There is a big difference between having your money taken from you to support the betterment of all, and freely giving what you have to those who are in need. In the early church, those who believed voluntarily gave what they had to the community, trusting that it would be distributed as needed. Whether or not someone deserved the assistance did not matter; whether or not they needed it did. It is in this way that they lived and honored the grace they had received through Jesus Christ: he died for us because we needed his salvation, not because we deserved it.
Let us pray. Generous God, you sent your Son to die for us even though we were sinners, because we needed your grace in order to be saved. Help us to see our own resources as tools of your kingdom, that we might use what we have to help your people who are in need. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.