Sermon Title: The Aroma of Community

(Acts 2:42-47, John 10:1-10)

Rev. Erik Kindem, May 7, 2017

Quick Summary:

This Sunday we catch the aroma of early Christian community life in ACTS. How realistic is Luke's report? Without the letters of Paul, we might conclude that every early Christian community functioned with harmony and generosity abounding. But with the letters of Paul we know the situation on the ground in a number of the congregations he planted was much more complicated and conflicted.

We are prone to look at the past with a nostalgic eye. What we know from our individual experience as a congregation as we approach our 75th anniversary that things weren't always ideal. But even if Acts 2 represents more an ideal picture of the early church rather than the real church with all its messiness and complications, it still gives us a pattern that can sustain us, and a vision to aim for. The Good Shepherd continually calls us to step through the gate and to embrace the abundant life he offers.

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Acts 2:42-47

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)

John 10:1-10

10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (ESV)

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