Listen to this crazy story of generosity: This group of Christians, united in their approach to the world right now, has decided that, basically, none of their stuff belongs to them. They are sharing everything. If someone needs something, they just make sure the group knows and together they figure it out. Amazingly, there isn’t anyone in their group that isn’t taken care of. It has gotten so radical that someone recently sold their house and another guy sold some extra land he had – and just gave the money to people in their group who had needs.
Trump supporters have relentlessly criticized them on social media for bowing to the left and being communists. You can imagine the comments: “No one just gives up their stuff! Somebody must have forced them. Fake news! The needy should get a job!” The irony, though, is that a bunch of socialist Bernie supporters have been criticizing them too. Especially the wealthy folks who sold their land and shared it. They think that money should have gone to everyone equally and criticized them for giving preference to their little group. Plus they think the government should have been the ones distributing it.
This story is not actually from the past month – it’s from the book of Acts, chapter 4 in the Bible. It’s a true story. That’s how they were actually living. And I believe this is actually how Jesus-followers are supposed to live today. I hope we are about to start hearing more and more that Jesus’ people are living like this again.
We’re supposed to consider nothing as our own – but be ready to share it ALL with those in need. We’re even supposed to consider, it seems, selling our most valuable possessions for the sake of helping others. Gut check: I don’t want to do this! This is hard! What about wisdom and waste and stewardship and all that? What about taking care of my family!?
That’s all real talk. I can’t say I have the answers to it all. But I will say this: I’m game to try. What if one of the amazing outcomes of this time of Coronavirus and perhaps more acutely, economic collapse, is that God’s people lean into the radical ways of living in true community?
So on this #ActionWednesday here’s our challenge: #ShareYourStuff. Look for needs – physical, simple, tangible needs. Start by gathering with your Jesus-following friends and commit to one another to meet each other’s needs. No, God’s love isn’t just for those who follow him. We are called to share it with everyone. But if we can’t start with modeling it in our own faith family, how can we possibly expect it to go any further? Start this way and allow that generosity to spill into the entire community as an act of love.
We’re not encouraging boasting or pride – but we want to inspire people to live this out. So we’re asking you to share your story of meeting needs or your needs being met by another and tag it with #ShareYourStuff. Together, we can ignite a resurgence of the radical community living we know is possible because our God is plenty big to meet not just our needs, but, through us, the needs of those around us.
Let’s do this!
Pastor Joel & Jeff