Acts 2:42-47
The 4th Sunday of Easter

As we continue to journey through the Easter season, our scripture focus leads more and more into the various ways that the Christian community reflects the resurrection in its own life together. This week's passage from the book of Acts gives us one of the very earliest windows into what Christian community looks like, describing the 'marks' -- the characteristics and activities -- of the earliest church, the community of believers gathered right after the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. We hear some expected things, like attention to the apostles' teaching, coming together in fellowship, and sharing in the breaking of the bread and the prayers.  But we also hear some things that are a bit more surprising to our modern ears, about ending private ownership of all property and the communal sharing of resources.

What is it that 'marks' us as Christian community today, in the beginning of the 21st century? Does God have a word to say to us through the witness of the early church about what we should hold as our "central things" -- our identifying characteristics, our main purpose, our raison d'être? And can we perceive how God works in us and in the world through those central things?