Yesterday I posted a summary of the first half of my speech from this past weekend’s Inaugural service at St. Timothy & St. Athanasius church. I spoke about two out of the three fundamental building blocks of STSA: Extreme Love and Ancient Faith. The third and final building block is REAL COMMUNITY.
The most glaring discrepancy between the many churches that exist today and The Church written about in Scripture is this…COMMUNITY. They had real community. They did more than just drink coffee together after church or attend weekly meetings with one another. They had real fellowship with one another and they lived life together.
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” Acts 2:44-47
Compare that to how we live today. Back in the early days of the Church, the believers “were together”, “had all things in common”, “sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all.” They didn’t just meet together; they lived together! They continued “daily with one accord” in both the temple and from house to house.
We talk about fellowship all the time in churches, but rarely do we achieve it. Our goal at STSA is to do whatever it takes to get there – to establish a real community of believers who love one another, support one another, forgive one another, esteem one another, share with one another and live in community with one another. That is the Biblical mandate and that is what the True Body of Christ is called to be.
How will we do that? I have no idea. I wish I had all the answers but I don't. In fact, there's a lot more things that I don't know than I do know! How will we create community? How will spread the extreme love of God? How will we deepen our knowledge of the ancient faith which was "once for all delivered to the saints"?
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how we’ll do it and I don’t know when we’ll do it, but I do know this. WE ARE GOING TO DO IT! Or more accurately stated, GOD HIMSELF IS GOING TO DO IT!
How do I know? Simple. This church/tidal wave is not the idea of any man, but it is the command of God. In His final words to His disciples before He ascended to heaven, the Lord Jesus said:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20
We have the promise from the mouth of Jesus Himself. He will be with us and He will not abandon us nor forsake us. We are not relying on our own strength or abilities, but on the power and might of the Almighty Lord God of Hosts – who was, and is, and is to come.
Because of that, I know that we will do it. We have no building, we have no money, we have no 3 year or 5 year plan. But what we do have is the Spirit of the Living God with us. And by His power and by His might, we will accomplish our mission.
What is our mission? We exist to transform lives in the DC metro area through an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ founded upon the life and teachings of the Orthodox faith.
I hope you’re all ready. There’s a tidal wave that’s coming.
Discussion: What are your thoughts about REAL COMMUNITY? How can the Church today get closer to what it was back in the Book of Acts?