Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Acts 4: 32-5:11
Text: There was not a needy person among them, … (v. 34a)
Years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a little poem and then a book of essays entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The first two lessons are, “Share everything” and “Play fair.” Very basic. Very simple. Very hard.
Taking Jesus seriously is paradoxically very simple and very hard. C. K. Chesterton once wrote that “It’s not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
Today’s devotional reading is the story of how hard it is to live in a Jesus community. The earliest followers of Jesus took Him seriously and shared everything that they had so that no one was without. And those who received were not deceptive. They, too, shared and did their fair share. Greed and selfishness had not yet entered the picture. The community knew the difference between “enough” and “more.” There is a difference between “want” and “need”. The latter is the child of Greed.
But all of that came to an end with Ananias and his wife Sapphira. Like Israel in the wilderness they did not trust God to provide. They did not really believe that God could provide “daily bread.” So they lied. They hid assets and passed themselves off as “holier than thou.” They didn’t have to do this. Nor do we.
Our challenge challenge is to learn the apostle Paul’s secret. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the One who strengthens me. (Philippians 4: 11-13)
Lord, teach me to the secret of contentment in You. Let me be a blessing to others and to You. Amen.