The Beloved Community 

March 10, 2015

And day by day, attending to the temple together and breaking bread, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all people. (Acts 2: 46)

Last Sunday we got a taste of that beloved community of which Luke spoke. I counted 151 people lined up on Sixth Avenue to help bring in organ pipes. I saw laughter, smiles, chatter, good humor and patience. I saw young and old alike working as one in this common endeavor. Over 100 of us were still working when we paused for lunch. Thanks to the volunteer kitchen team for their work keeping everyone fueled and ice cream provided by the Choir! Eight hours later, when the last boxes were unloaded, there were still some thirty people helping. From this time forward these individuals shall forever be known as the saints of Plymouth! C.B. Fisk Organ Co. tells me they have never experienced such enthusiasm and community spirit with an organ delivery. 

Congregations can get frustrated in their attempts to build community that is an authentic expression of the beloved community of the gospel. The good news for us is to recognize that it is God’s Spirit that takes the initiative. We are not left to our own devices in creating such an environment. Acts describes a community of faith that operates in the power of God's Spirit. The ministry of God's reign, that Jesus inaugurated during his life and secured by his death and resurrection, is not a thing of the past or a faint hope for future days; it continues, sometimes barely perceptibly, in the corporate life of communities of faith. Virtues of justice, worship and mutuality are not accomplishments of extraordinary folk; they are signs of the Spirit at work in a community of people who understand themselves as united in purpose and identity.

Reflection: How can I live in the power of God’s Spirit? How can Plymouth? Am I open to change as long as it’s going my way? Do I dare to follow the Holy Spirit? – Brigitta Remole

Topics: Church Life, Events



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