Remarkable and uplifting! Such are the first lines of today’s passage in Eugene Peterson’s “The Message:” “The whole congregation of believers was united as one – one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions.” Suddenly, however, the story shifts to one of jealousy, greed, deceit, and punishment. Ananias and Sapphira, husband and wife, greatly desired to be held in good favor. So they sold their land; but instead of giving all the proceeds to the apostles, as did Barnabas, they lied about the amount they had received and gave less, for they wanted to keep part of the money for themselves. Punishment was swift and harsh. Each fell dead.
As members of the Body of Christ, with one heart and one mind, we are to love God and to love our neighbor. But do our actions reflect this? Do the moments that equal the sum of our day reflect patience, kindness, and love? Are we truly united within the Body of Christ?
I have a sister in South Carolina, and Thursday I called to wish her a happy birthday. I was surprised to learn that she was out-of-town with a friend. Vera loves celebrating birthdays, especially her own, with family. Well, it turns out that she was helping a distraught friend by driving her to Ohio to see her dying father. Vera has always been a good friend.
Whether it’s helping a friend, or listening to a child, or using a kind tone with your teen, or returning an item to a department store after discovering that you weren’t charged for it, or visiting a lonely parishioner, or pulling weeds from the church garden even though it isn’t clean-up day, your actions, my actions, must reflect that we are, indeed, of one heart and one mind within the Body of Christ. So the question each of us must ask ourselves is: Today, did my actions show that I am a Christian? Today, did I share God’s love?
Heavenly Father, may our words and deeds, however insignificant they may seem at any given moment, reflect that we are truly of one heart and one mind, united in action and prayer as living members of the Body of Christ. Amen.