Reading: Acts 2:42-47
No offense to the Bible, but I think this reading is missing several verses. Someone forgot to record those times when the growing community of Christians argued over which needs warranted extra resources, those moments when the news of another miracle drew skepticism from a handful of disciples (who wondered why that person always saw miracles and whether not a need for attention had anything to do with it), those occasions when the community debated whether it was possible to grow too large because they couldn't crowd together any more tables for the shared meals.
It's possible that the one(s) who recorded this overview of the Early Church's experiences did so with rose-colored glasses -- that is, maybe the person who wrote down these stories willfully forgot the difficult times but remembered fondly the "good old days" of the Early Church.
It's a tendency we all have: an inclination to recall certain stories of our past (our personal histories, our churches' histories, even the span of human history) with fondness and longing. And maybe the stories are true, or maybe our memories have tampered with them to forget the complications and difficulties. In any case, we're more likely to remember a rose-colored history when our present is full of change and our future is feeling bleak. We more inclined to look back when we're scared to look forward.
Prayer: God of all time, You who have been from the beginning and will remain until the end: help us to learn from our history but not to linger there in longing. Give us the courage, we pray -- and more than courage, grant us joy -- to welcome the future, knowing that you meet us in every new day. Amen.
Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, author, and former CML staff.
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