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The poor you will always have with you

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Acts 4:32-35

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.

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

Even Jesus knew this wouldn't last. He told them before he left, "The poor you will always have with you." But in this commun-ity, the poor were no longer poor. The rich were no longer rich. Everyone gave, and therefore everyone received.

I experienced this once. In the Unification Church, everyone gave what they had, and then whatever we needed were were given. Of course this organization was accused of bilking and milking its members, because Rev. Moon did live in a mansion and had a chauffeur. But my own experience was more like what I read in Acts 4.

It was one of the most inspiring times of my life. After having read about communes in the 70's, after having lived somewhat communally during college and after, aspiring to live off the land and share what I had, the experience I had in the Moonies brought me great satisfaction and peace. Many "normal" daily worries were simply lifted out of my life. I trusted the leaders of my part of the family to care for me and for those I loved.

That didn't last, at least not for me. And I know it didn't last for those in the first flush of Jesus' gift of the Holy Spirit. But oh, what days those were. And what memories those men and women carried into the rest of their lives. They lived for a moment in the Kingdom of Heaven, come to earth. God's will done here as it is in heaven.

Only you, Lord, can make this happen. You at the center, and us following you. No wonder we only "get it" for a moment. But increase our ability to see and follow You, Lord.

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