Sermon at State Street: Acts 2:42-47

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Here's my outline for last weekend's sermon at State Street (note: we went through Exodus 1-16 rather quickly, but the references are in the video):

TEXT: Acts 2:42-47 (Kingdom New Testament)
42They all gave full attention to the teaching of the apostles and to the common life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43Great awe fell on everyone, and many remarkable deeds and signs were performed by the apostles. 44All of those who believed came together, and held everything in common. 45They sold their possessions and belongings and divided them up to everyone in proportion to their various needs. 46Day by day they were all together attending the Temple. They broke bread in their various houses, and ate their food with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and standing in favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being rescued.

POINT 1: Christianity invites us to imagine and work towards a world of community solidarity. But, to work towards this world, we must never fall into the trap of scarcity [i.e. being in fear of not having enough].

POINT 2: Entering into a new community, one defined by faith, generosity, and commonality, requires a constant turning away from the ways in which we came. Even when we do not know what may or may not happen. It requires a steadfast trust that what is ahead is better than what is behind.

POINT 3: The temptation of scarcity and the needful reminder of God's generosity was prevalent in the early formation of God's people (Israel), in the formation of the early Church, and even today. 

QUOTE:

“Wilderness” is a place, in biblical rhetoric, where there are no viable life support systems. “Grace” is the occupying generosity of God that redefines the place. The wonder bread, as a gesture of divine grace, recharacterizes the wilderness that Israel now discovered to be a place of viable life, made viable by the generous inclination of YHWH. - Walter Brueggemann

THE WAY IN WHICH SCARCITY IS COMBATTED IN THE EARLY CHURCH:

  1. teaching of the apostles/learning the way of Jesus
  2. the common life/the shared life
  3. the breaking of bread/eucharist and common meals
  4. prayers/joining of hearts with God