44 All the believers were united and shared everything. 45 They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. 46 Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. 47 They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.
There’s a story told, in many different cultures, about making stone soup. The story begins with a stranger who was hungry, but all he had was an empty pot. He travelled to the nearest village to beg for some ingredients to make soup, but everyone was suffering from hunger and hoarding what little they had left. So instead, he asked for water to boil and wood to make a fire. He took a stone from his bag and said to the villagers, “See this stone? I will make everyone stone soup.” The people laughed at him, “You can’t make soup from water and a stone,” they said. “Wait and see, it will be the most delicious soup you’ve ever tasted,” he told them. So the man began stirring the stone soup.
“This soup would be delicious if we had a bit of dried beef to add,” he told the crowd. “I have just a small bit of dried beef I could add,” said a neighbor, and she ran home to get it. As the smell of cooking spread among the crowd the man said, “Stone soup is even more delicious with potatoes and carrots.” More people said, “I have one carrot,” and two more people had a bit of potato and cabbage. Soon the pot was filled with the small and large contributions of the village until there was enough soup to feed everyone, and leftovers too. As the villagers ate together they agreed, it was the most delicious soup they had ever tasted. Then they realized that by everyone sharing all their food together, they had more than enough to feed the village.
The writer of Acts tells us that in the early church, “All believers were united and shared everything.” United by God’s love, each gave all they could to care for everyone in need. They worshipped and praised God together, they ate together and cared for each other. By their example they demonstrated God’s love to others and people were drawn to the church and heard the good news of Jesus and were saved.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Just like the early church, we too, work together to care for each other, our communities and the world. Our gifts matter. Whether we volunteer our time, our resources or give money, in large and small amounts, God blesses our efforts and multiplies all our gifts. As others see what we do, they experience God’s love, and want to be part of a faith community that loves God and loves others.
Your gifts of time, talent and resources matter to all in need. How can you show God’s love to others by serving your faith community this week? Look for ways to serve by delivering food, making soup, donating clothes or diapers, volunteering with children and youth and by giving money to the ministry and mission of the church.
Prayer: Holy and loving God, unite us by your love. We give you thanks, that as we are blessed by you, you multiple all our gifts together, so that we can show your love to those in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.