Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Fellowship of Believers Updated

The Fellowship of the Believers Acts 2:42-47
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

That's how it was then...let's move on to 2008!

I think some people do go to church every morning and my experience on line shows me that things have changed somewhat from the early believers.

Gathering with other believers every day still occurs, and it occurs early!!! It happens in the Christian Living chatroom on AOL. If you are on the West Coast you have to get in there by 4-5 AM. Now that works out for a couple of us who have sleepless nights (Women in Transition). I love that there are people from Indiana, New Hampshire, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida and Michigan as well as California and Washington State, all gathering together as believers in Christ Jesus. The early believers had to hang with folks who were local (which is also wonderful) but we get to learn how to make Indian Bread, and cook southern food, as well as how to "put up peaches." We from the West Coast share about sushi and sprouts.

We have not sold our possessions or our goods because in order to hang out together like the early disciples, necessities like a computer, an ISP, etc. all cost money. The Christian Living people do share greatly to those in need of care, comfort, friendship, prayer, and when my son passed away in 2006, I received a beautiful plant from some friends online who had gone together to let me know they were thinking of me. Others gave to the Blind Center that my son attended and still others sent meaningful cards of condolences. No one can ever tell me that online chat friends are not real. They are. They have sustained me as I was isolated in Idaho, as a nearly homebound caregiver for my son in California, and during the past two years as I have moved through grieving. They have become my church family. (Some are not in Christian Living, but in Christian Forum as well). I just really wanted to write about Christian Living today because it has been such a blessing to me, but don't want anyone feeling left out if they read this and are my friends from the Forum.

We do break bread - most are having coffee and some are talented enough after years of experience to even eat copious amounts of food while typing away as fast as possible. We know who is going to work and where, how many children and grandchildren are born - pictures shared of course! Many of us have met in person and many have gathered as a group in Missouri and Michigan. We know who is struggling and who has come through a storm; we are in it together.

The early morning bunch have great fellowship! There doesn't seem to be a lot of nitpicking about doctrine. No one is demanding to know if you are a Calvinist or Arminian (in 1997 when someone asked me that in Christian Chat, I was stunned. I thot," My goodness, why do they think I am from Armenia?") We come from many different backgrounds and while each of us may celebrate Christ in different ways, we hold in common a faith very dear to each one of us knowing we have been saved by grace alone and that God is in control. Jesus receives our praise - in fact he inhabits it.

We come together with sincere and glad hearts - come join us if you are on AOL! The best time is in the early morning!

Christian Living


Lori Stilger said...

Great post! I may have to show up some morning - it's been a while!!! :)

Anonymous said...

So, WHICH ARE YOU!!! (sorry, had to say that!!)