The New Community (PART 3 Of 10) by Tony Nester

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The New Community
Title: Rediscovering Church, Part 3 of 10
Text: Acts 2:37-47 (NRSV)
Tony R. Nester

I once came across a Doonesbury cartoon strip in which a
mom and dad had ganged up on their son to make him go to
church. They weren't going to go themselves, but they
thought it was time they made him go. The parents are
giving all the reasons they can think of to justify their
decision to make him give up his Sunday mornings at home
and go to church. Finally, the Dad seals the kid's doom by
saying, "You've got to put in your pew time just like we
had to." The boy dumbfounds his parents by replying, "But
what if I like it?" They stare at their son with disbelief
and fear.

People who are far from God are surprised to find out that
real Christians love to go to church. In her book, Amazing
Grace - A Vocabulary of Faith, Kathleen Norris, who had
rejected the Christianity of her childhood and youth,
writes of her rediscovery of faith which came through her
exposure to a Benedictine monastery.

"I am still amazed," she writes, "that having been someone
who for twenty years would never willingly go to church, I
have become someone who now can't get enough of it. I can't
explain it; all I can do is to tell a few of the stories
about what has happened along the way. During one of my
first visits to a monastery, one of the monks joked on the
way out of vespers, "You had better get some rest. You've
had a lot of church today." "Shh," another said, "she's
making up for lost time." (1).

That's the spirit of the first Christians. It's the spirit
of the first church. It's the spirit we share when we
rediscover church.

It's in today's Scripture lesson from the Book of Acts.

{37} "Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart
and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers,
what should we do?" {38} Peter said to them, "Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ ...

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