Summary: The first century Church gathered together daily. This sermon is an invitation to come home an be with your family. When you are away, we miss you, and your Heavenly Father waits for you.
You’ve probably heard this story before. It’s been around for a long time. This story deals with a rather old fashioned lady, who was planning a couple of weeks vacation in Florida.
She also was quite delicate and elegant with her language.
She wrote a letter to a particular campground and asked for reservations. She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped but didn’t know quite how to ask about the “toilet” facilities. She just couldn’t bring herself to write the word “toilet” in her letter.
After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old fashioned term “Bathroom Commode,” but when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again; rewrote the entire letter and referred to the Bathroom Commode” simply as the “B.C.”. Does the campground have its own “B.C.?” is what she actually wrote.
Well, the campground owner wasn’t old fashioned at all, and when he got the letter, he couldn’t figure out what the lady was talking about. That “B.C.” really stumped him.
After worrying about it for several days, he showed the letter to other campers, but they couldn’t figure out what the lady meant either. The campground owner finally came to the conclusion that the lady was and must be asking about the location of the local Baptist Church.
So he sat down and wrote the following reply:
“Dear Madam: I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure of informing you that the “B.C.” is located nine miles north of the camp site and is capable of seating 250 people at one time.
I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along, and make a day of it..... They usually arrive early and stay late. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now, there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats.....They plan to hold the supper in the middle of the B.C., so everyone can watch and talk about this great event.....
I would like to say it pains me very much, not to be able to go more regularly, but it is surely not for lack of desire on my part....As we grow older, it seems to be more and more of an effort, particularly in cold weather..... If you decide to come down to the campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go...sit with you...and introduce you to all the other folks..... This is really a very friendly community.....
Now that leaves us with some image of the church, doesn’t it?
Here in the second chapter of Acts Luke gives us quite a picture of the very first Christian Church that ever was. His words, the way he describes the actions of these new Christians paint quite an exciting picture for us.
How did this first church come to be? Lets back up just a little and set the stage for our Bible story.
This church began 10 days following Jesus’ ascension into heaven. The disciples had gathered together to celebrate and worship on a great Jewish holiday, Pentecost. On that day, an amazing thing happened.
The Holy Spirit descended upon them and they began to tell this great crowd of people gathered for the religious holiday about Jesus. Each and every person was told and understood in their own language. It was an amazing thing...
Peter gave the first sermon we know of and have recorded. 3000 people were saved, and from there we come to this description of what life was like in the new church.
Luke tells us the following things about this fellowship of believers. They were:
• devoted themselves to:
• apostle’s teaching
• breaking bread together
• they were filled with awe and the wonder of God as they experienced the miraculous signs and wonders performed by the apostles.
• they were together - banded and joined together - having everything in common and sharing all that they had
• they sold their possessions and gave to the poor
• Everyday they continued to meet together, gathering in the temple courts.
• they met in each other’s homes, eating together and praising God together
• and daily, the Lord added to their number, professing members of the faith.
Boy, this first century church sounds a lot like Grace Church in many ways. Did you pick up on some similarities?
The church we read about was a new church and Grace Church is a new church. Did you know that we will celebrate our 9th birthday next month on the 29th?