A tangible expression of love in a time of need

This past month, our small group has been studying the Bible and asking the question, “What is the church?” As I’ve been doing my own studying and reflecting on the question I’ve really been blown away by two familiar passages in Acts. Acts 2:42-47 talks about the Fellowship of Believers and indicates that the early believers came together not only for fellowship, community, testifying to Christ’s resurrection, but also to support one another in their basic physical needs. Listen to verse 45 as it is so powerful: “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” It wasn’t just about meeting together, it was about helping people in need. Acts 4:32-37 paints a very similar picture of believers. It was simple…they gave of what they had to people who were experiencing physical and economical need. “And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” (Acts 4:33-35) So much for tithing 10%….this takes giving to a whole new level.

This past week I saw the church in Colombia come together once again and set an example of what it means to be the church. A small town about 8 hours from Medellin has been in the middle of some really difficult social unrest because of a large group that is on strike. This has forced stores to close and transportation in and out of the town to come to a halt. The pastor of the Covenant church in this town reached out to other pastors and leaders and told them that food was getting scarce and even the basic ingredient in their daily meals – beans – was hard to come by. So the local pastors here, along with regional and national leaders, and¬†¬†churches in other areas of the country decided to come together to support this church community. Phone calls were made and churches committed to pooling their money together to buy non-perishable items in bulk and send them to the 50 or so families of this church and it’s surrounding community. Within a day almost $1000 was raised to buy food. A couple of the pastors took the money and went to the local market to buy everything from beans to cans of tuna for these families. Julio found a transportation company that could get the goods there and within a couple of days the pastor called to say the food had arrived.

For me it was a living, tangible example of what unity in the body of Christ and seeking the good of the community looks like.

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