Summary: God calls us to devote ourselves to authentic community
Let’s Get Real, Church About COMMUNITY
Acts 2:42-44; 4:30-34
I am going to test your memory banks this morning. I will give you the first few words of a familiar TV show, and you tell me the shows name.
They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They're all together ooky, ( The Addams Family)
Well, now, take down your fishin' pole and meet me at The Fishin' Hole, We may not get a bite all day, but don't you rush away. ( Andy Griffith Show)
Farm livin' is the life for me. Land spreadin' out so far and wide Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside. ( Green Acres)
Boy the way Glen Miller played Songs that made the hit parade. Guys like us we had it made, Those were the days. ( All in the Family)
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name, ( Cheers)
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip That started from this tropic port Aboard this tiny ship. ( Gilligans Island)
This week, the last star who was the name sake of the show died. Bob Denver played the hapless, shy, bumbling first mate Gilligan.
By the time I was watching it, it was in re-runs but it would come on right after the Brady Bunch and my sister and I would sit and watch the adventures of this unfortunate group who had only wanted a three hour tour.
What made the show so funny was the unique and different personalities of each of the castaways.
The Skipper was smart and fearless, he knew how to take charge and lead the group.
The Howells were filthy rich and they knew how to handle anything that required a knack for business and administration.
Mary-Ann was the comforter and encourager, always ready with a coconut pie for whoever was feeling down.
The professor was better than McGyver. He could figure out a way to fix any problem, other than the fact that they were stuck, with one of his incredible inventions.
Ginger could act and she could get them out of whatever jam they were in with whoever was visiting the island at the time.
And Gilligan was the one with the servant’s heart. He would do anything for anyone and usually mess it up but it was always done with a great heart.
It was a great show. It was also a great picture of a community. They survived because they each complimented one another’s strengths. They worked together and because of that, they were able to handle whatever each new episode challenged them with.
They each had a sense of belonging, that their gifts and talents were important. They each felt that sense of support that the others provided, their lives were intertwined together.
In one memorable episode, Gilligan got upset and felt unloved, he moved into a cave by himself on the other side of the island. He quickly realized that he couldn’t survive without the support of the others. He had lost the third benefit, that sense of wholeness that comes through community. He knew that he needed the rest of the group and that together they could accomplish things that he could never do alone.
It’s a picture of community. A group of people, maintaining their individuality and uniqueness but coming together as one to live life together and move towards one goal, in their case, to get off the island, in our case, to advance the Kingdom of God here on Earth.
We could learn a lot from this group. This is the kind of community and togetherness that we see in the early church and this is what we can see in this place. But how does it begin?
P.S. I want to challenge us today to be Devote ourselves to authentic community.
A community is defined as ‘A unified body of individuals with common character and common interests, who share joint ownership and participation in something.’
The early church fit this definition but what was it that really made them a community?
In Acts 2:42, we read that, All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper[i]), and to prayer.
Notice that verse 42 begins with “They devoted themselves. Or literally they continued steadfastly, they committed themsleves,. One translation says ‘they were like family together. ( CEV).
In the original Greek, the word translated continually devoted means “to attend constantly, continue steadfastly, wait on, or to strongly carry on.”
It was not a one time commitment or a religious duty. They commited themselves totally to the fellowship as a lifestyle.