Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Food For Thought:
This passage is helpful for us because it not only describes the attitude and behavior of this early church community, but it also gives us a concrete example of what that looked like. There was a truly common bond between these early followers. They shared everything – the greatest of which was their faith in the risen Christ. We have to ask ourselves what this community of believers has to teach us. Who are the needy among us with whom we could share our stories of faith, our love, our hospitality, our resources, and our space? Barnabas sold an entire field that he owned and brought the money to the apostles, trusting them to distribute it best throughout the community. What can you share with the church, trusting God to multiply it and use it for those in need? What gift can you share?
Faithful God, open my heart and my hands and my mind today that I might be more generous, more trusting, and more faithful. Open me to share the gifts I have with my community – with those in need. I confess that it is very hard for me to let go. It is difficult to share my stories, my money, my love, my space and sometimes, my gifts. Please grow my heart of generosity that giving will come with trust that you are in control. Amen.