Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
This I absolutely know to be true: life is richer and better when lived in loving community. The passage above records how the early church lived and how the amazing Good News of Jesus Christ spread so far, so fast — they lived and shared life generously in community. They prayed for one another, shared meals together, worshiped together, and helped each other to thrive. The joy and generosity of the early Christians drew others to “come and see” and to believe in this way of life in which everyone thrived.
Despite what popular culture tries to tell us, we are not meant to go it alone in life. Jesus modeled how to live in community as well. The first thing he did in ministry was to draw around him a community of believers who would share life together as well as share ministry together. When Jesus fed the multitudes, he did so by pooling the resources of those around him. Even when he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his disciples to pray with him and to share in that most painful time. As the popular saying goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved.”
Like Jesus and his followers, we are meant to live in community, and what a wonderful gift we have at Epworth Villa to live together in such a loving community! But what does it look like for us day to day? This is what we will be learning and celebrating together throughout the season of Lent. Whether by participating in the small group study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together or living out the practices in our community Lenten project of “Grow Deeper Together,” I pray you will be a part of learning how to live together day by day in loving and generous community so we can all thrive together.