News & Articles

← Return to Articles

An Invitation to Expectation

04.22.15 | Christian Life, Blog Entry | by Brandon D. Smith

    original link

    Infinite sermons have been preached about the early Christian community depicted at the end of Acts 2. This account is perhaps the first time we are able to glimpse the body of Christ post-Pentecost, so it makes sense. In many ways, I’ve always looked at it as the first time the New Testament slows down and stops doing mega-awesome stuff since Matthew 1.

    Think about it: the Gospels are about the ministry of Jesus. They have Satan being embarrassed in the wilderness, storms being tamed, men walking on water, blind men watching sunrises, cripples tossing away their crutches, people resuscitating on their deathbeds, pigs running into lakes, demons shuttering, and a just-previously-dead Jesus appearing to hundreds of people. Acts 1-2a then gives us Jesus disappearing into the clouds and Strange Fire appearing in a time machine. It’s Sixth Sense meets Paranormal Activity meets Phenomenon.

    And then, Acts 2:42-47. A bunch of normal folks, like you and me, praying, eating, and worshiping together. It’s not much different than my church’s community groups that meet around the Dallas/Fort Worth area together. It’s a relief, a needed calm. And yet it isn’t calm at all. It’s the outworking of the most incredible story ever told. It’s routine-shattering,

    This new community of faith is actually living out the epic story of Jesus in what seems like mundane ways. While appearing similar to their Jewish roots of community and meal-sharing, these Christians sold possessions and "had everything in common" to immediately live out New Creation in anticipation of Jesus's return. The otherworldly implications of being one body united in Christ wasn't merely ethereal for early Christians—it was visible, tangible community. The resurrected and returning Lord sparked their worship into action instantaneously. Not only so, but it revolutionized the lives of their neighbors.

    We live in a different context, with suburbs and three-story houses and iPhones. Much as we try, we can’t totally reinvent first-century, New Testament Christianity. But the key ingredients haven’t changed. Our calling is the same. Jesus still tells us, “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:35). Jesus still calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20) Loving one another, sharing our lives, inviting others to join us, is the mark of the King.

    Our identity as the body of Christ isn’t just a spiritual nametag based on some invisible, untouchable realities; we are bound together in this flesh-and-blood life because of those spiritual realities. Christ is still coming back. We live in awe-inducing expectation of that. And like our brothers and sisters in Acts 2, this should make our often humdrum faith hum like the engines of an F-16 ready for flight.

    This is an invitation to expectation.