35 And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world distributed goods according to need! It didn’t in the days of the apostles and it doesn’t today. Then, the early Christians saw the importance of sharing their abundance to that those who had little wouldn’t suffer.
Although many of the wealthiest people do try to help those who have little or nothing, others seem to just want more. It’s really a matter of attitude. So many people think that those who are poor have chosen to be poor, and that those who have wealth, earned it. The truth is far from that.
Most of the poor of this world work hard every day to provide for their families. If they live in developed countries, they probably work two or three jobs just to get by. If they live in less populated or in developing countries, they may work all day growing crops or caring for animals so that they will have food, or they may have to walk for miles to find clean water.
In the world of the early Christians all of this would balance out without judgment as to whether or not they deserved help, only if they needed it.
When I was first married, the rule of thumb for how much should be spent on rent or a mortgage was twenty-five percent on one’s take home pay. Today, it’s closer to fifty percent and in some cases even morel. Where is the money for food? Work takes up so much of the adult’s time that little is left over for children.
In developing countries, the children are also workers. Education is a luxury that the families can’t afford. How can children reach their full potential if there are no opportunities for education? The early Christians had it right.
Acts tells us that the early church was at peace. Perhaps their love for each other and the care they took of one another was the reason.
Loving God, you gave us an example of how to live in your son, Jesus, and examples of how to live in community in the generosity of spirit of the early Christian community. May we be examples of love and generosity to those who come after us. Amen.