Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 8, 2020
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:44-47
Do you live by a rule of life? If you’re honest, the only answer to that question is “yes.” However, whether it is an intentional rule of life is another question altogether. While “rule” may have certain negative connotations, at a basic level it simply points to an ordered way of life, a rhythm that we live by day in and day out. In this way, we all have rules of life that order our days. The “rule” of morning coffee. The “rule” of making lunch for your kids. The “rule” of Netflix in the evening.
We all live by a rule of life, yet the question to ponder today is this: what rules do you live by? Sometimes, these rules are seasonal, and by design should be. For example, necessities at work and commitments at home look different in various chapters and seasons of life. Yet these rules of life also change through outside forces that press upon us whether we want them to or not! If you’ve been betrayed by someone you love, that betrayal affects your rule of life overnight. If you are diagnosed with a severe allergy or medical condition, your rule of life as it relates to food and wellness also changes overnight. Interestingly, this pandemic season is in its own way an outside force that presses upon us and is disrupting our rule and rhythm of life in ways most of us have never seen before.
As a pastor, I talk daily to people about life’s joys and sorrows, and as I’ve processed over the past months the impact of the pandemic on people’s daily lives, the thing I’ve heard over and over again is the loss of all rhythm and people grieving the loss of what they knew before. However, as noted above, we never truly lose rhythm, we just begin living by different rules. We aren’t necessarily grieving the loss of rhythm, we’re grieving the loss of redemptive, healthy, and life-giving patterns of life.
Acts 2 paints a picture of the early Christian community thriving as they live a rhythm of life shaped by the life of Jesus and obedience to his commands. Yet as idyllic and compelling as this picture may be, we must not miss that it was also in a time of great persecution, suffering, and trial. These early followers of Jesus were saying, “How do we live and order our entire lives around the life of Christ even while we navigate the sorrows and sufferings of this world?” Their faith was not something they could easily take on and then put off. It was not shaken when life was hard or disrupted.
The faith of the early Christians not only survived but flourished, growing and expanding even in the face of pandemic and persecution because men, women, and children lived every aspect of their lives ordered and oriented to a different kingdom and a different king. Will you and I do the same?
Father, even in times of great trial and confusion, teach us to live faithfully by the rhythms of your kingdom, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What rules over the past few months have you taken on that you need to drop, and what rules have lapsed that you need to renew?
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