Friday, November 13, 2009

Dangerous Community

Acts 4:32-5:11
This week I'm preaching on one of the weirdest passages in the New Testament - the story of amazing love and community! And the story of Ananias and Sapphira (yup, 2 P's). The first story is the happy one to talk about. People caring for and loving each other sacrificially. It says, "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had." Things are going well; love is all around - that's how chapter 4 ends.

Chapter 5: Ananias & Sapphira drop dead after lying about an offering they made to the church. They sell some property and give a chunk of the proceeds to the church to help others. But they lie and tell Peter that they've given the entire amount of the sale, not just part of it. That lie seems to be their downfall. They could have given whatever they desired, or nothing at all. But to lie and say it was the full amount when it was not - that was trouble. More trouble than we might expect too - DEATH!? What happened to grace, mercy, forgiveness? This is confusing stuff. It sort of makes you stop and think about writing that tithe check, doesn't it? (see ending of the video below) What's giving all about? Apparently more than we think.

In the sermon, we'll look at what this odd incident has to do with community and why following Jesus can be so very dangerous. Then we'll share some turkey and fun after worship at the Thanksgiving Dinner!
Let's hope we don't lose our appetite.

- Curtis

Disclaimer: I wouldn't share this in worship, but it drives a certain point of view home - check out this video: