They shared everything — even the not-so-good parts

Acts 4:32-3532Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

There’s all sorts of reasons to avoid this passage from the Bible.  There’s all sorts of reasons to just pass it off and dismiss it as early church myth and post-Easter (Pentecost) fanaticism.  First of all, it goes completely against our modern individualism and phobia of anything that could be labeled socialism.
Now if that weren’t bad enough there’s a whole other reason to just blithely pass over these words.  The reason is that the disciples didn’t just empty out their proverbial pockets, but they emptied out their pains.  In order for the family of followers to know what needs to meet, they needed to know what needs existed. I guess that means the Easter resurrection faith ends the shame of pain, the shame of poverty, the shame of sadness, loneliness, pain, and doubts. If Jesus can show his wounds, why can’t we?
Imagine a space–a place and time–where you can come and bring everything you have including the good, the bad, the ugly.  Where all sins can be confessed; where there can be repentance work; where joys, ideas, and dreams are expressed.  This is true welcome; this is true love; this is church; this is what it is to easter.

Running on Empty – a meditation on Easter

The other day as I was driving I glanced down and saw that I was almost at “E”. Of course, “E” stands for empty as in empty gas tank. Usually this would be only a slight annoyance, but these days with prices well over $4.00 it’s a different matter. “E” is for “empty”, and I don’t want to be running around on empty. Think of empty wallets, empty refrigerators and pantries, empty playgrounds and pews, empty homes, empty arms and empty hearts. Emptiness brings disappointment.

I’m sure that was at least one of the emotions felt by the women and the disciples on that first Easter morning. Their hearts were empty as they walked to the tomb that early morning. Their beloved Lord had been taken from them—their hopes and dreams now rang hollow. But at the EMPTY tomb it all changed. The emptiness wasn’t within them, but in front of them. This emptiness didn’t sap their strength, but propelled them to move, to go, to tell. God had taken the reality of death and turned it inside out.

Evil and the powers of death seek to fill our lives with diversions, excuses and fears. Filling us with empty calories, empty promises. God takes us in a whole new direction. The empty tomb tells us that there is life and opportunity beyond what the world has to offer. The empty tomb still urges us to get up, gather for worship and praise of God. The empty tomb still sends us out on our way energized with hope in God’s future. The empty tomb still prods us to call, invite, welcome and share the Good News that Jesus lives!

Easter Resurrection

It’s about time.
Easter, resurrection, life-time.
The joy, the unbreakable, indefeatable, eternal, unbounded, indestructible, incorruptible, uncontrollable life that breaks out of our tombs.
It’s about time.
It’s about Life that doesn’t stop, that doesn’t back down, that doesn’t sit quiet idly by while bombs fly and children cry and thousands die

Betrayals, arrests, denials distress they come and go and keep on coming, but Resurrection’s a whole new thing, a new way, a new day.
It’s smile through tears, it’s feast without fears.
Words can’t describe it, lines can’t confine it.
It’s hope, hope for real change, not just a political party, a style, or ideology.
Change of vision, change of livin, change of speaking, listening, being.
Life without fear, blessed beyond stress.
It’s not a cover up or a sham.
It’s life in the pews, on the streets, it’s love not just between the sheets.
Love and life unbounded wrapped up together, true power to the people, of the people, for the people.
Not just in God we trust on our papers, but in our words and our actions, no giving into reactions of hate and judging – discriminating.
It’s about time!

This is a little something I wrote; it moves in my heart; I share it with you.