Written by Steven Liechty
"All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need." - Acts 2:42-47
I love my church but I find it difficult to imagine all of us emptying our savings accounts and dumping them into a common pot. I can't picture us all selling our cars, so that everyone gets the same vehicle, be it a bike, a Chevy, or a skateboard. I'm in awe of the early church in the book of Acts, where they shared it all in common. Today, we would talk these people into doing a reality TV show. We'd film them squabbling over who brought the most bread or wine to this giant ecclesiastical yard sale. In other words, I don't believe this was actually easy for them.
I see this scripture as a goal. And at church, we come closer to living it out than we do at work, or school, or the sports arena. At least every week in church, we do share some of what's in our pockets. For this reason, I am in favor of always putting something in the offering plate when it is passed. You may pay most of your pledge by check through the mail, but that weekly act of taking something out of the wallet that is "mine" and putting it in the plate that is "ours" is a spiritual discipline. It reminds us that none of what we have is really ours.
Generous, God whether I need to share my money, my time, my feelings or my thoughts, help me to imagine a more generous way of life. Amen.
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the new anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.