Church of England Diocese of Liverpool Sefton

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK - MON 12TH APRIL

12th April 2021

Reading: Acts 4:32-35

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Thought for the Week

In a busy shopping precinct on a Saturday afternoon, a salesperson is delivering a sales pitch for a new cleaning product. The presentation is smart, clever, and jovial. A small crowd has gathered and is engaging with the demonstration, attracted by the salesperson’s banter. They are smiling and laughing and nodding to one another – and to the salespersons when he catches their eye. On a table nearby, two assistants are doing a reasonably good trade in the cleaning product. Captivated by what they have seen and heard, people are willing to give it a go.

At the other side of the plaza, someone is shouting in a rather monotone voice, and brandishing a book. They wander up and down, this way and that, occasionally stopping to open the book and read out – or a better description might be, bellows out – a few sentences. But there is no eye contact, and the presentation is anything but jovial. No one in the crowd stops to listen. No one is attracted in. No one is smiling or laughing or nodding. And with no one captivated by what they have not seen or not heard – because they whizzed straight past! – thetwo assistants stand behind a table with leaflets, looking rather bored and occasionally glancing in the direction of the speaker.

One thing we learn about Jesus from the Gospels is how good a story teller he was, and how he captivated people’s attention. Crowds flocked to hear him. Now we can’t all be top, funny, compelling, witty speakers with all the banter. And none of us is Jesus! But we know that we are all called to tell people the story of Jesus. And if we think that it is important to do so – and hopefully, we all do! – how can we ‘deliver our pitch’ in a way that is more exciting and interesting and compelling than a cleaning product?

How do we tell our story of faith, how do we live our faith?

The early believers lived their faith with eyes on their Lord, chatted their faith, supporting each other to support others.

Prayers

Let us pray using these words from the service of Confirmation:

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you persevere in resisting evil,
and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you proclaim by word and example
the good news of God in Christ?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all people,
loving your neighbour as yourself?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you acknowledge Christ's authority over human society,
by prayer for the world and its leaders,
by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?
With the help of God, I will.

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith,
that you may be rooted and grounded in love
and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
Amen.