The Caring Place (3 of 4) by Roger Thomas

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The Caring Place (3 of 4)
Church: A User's Guide
Roger Thomas
Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25

We all watched the 77-hour saga on television a few weeks ago. Nine coal-miners accidentally breached the wall of an abandoned water-filled mine shaft trapping them 240 feet below ground. The nine men were chest-deep in 55-degree water. Rescuers worked night and day to save them. All survived. When asked how they managed the nine told a stirring story of courage, camaraderie, and prayer.

The first thing they did, after making sure everyone was OK and accounted for, was to tie their belts together. No one was going to pass out and fall beneath the water without the others knowing it and pulling him back to the surface. Next they made a plan for dividing their limited provisions among the nine miners—one sandwich and a can of Mountain Dew.

Realizing that the cold water was the greatest threat, they huddled together to keep warm and conserve precious body heat. Cuddling with a gang of grimy miners would not have normally been how they would have chosen to spend the night. But they did. They also took turns lifting one man and then another out of the cold water for a few minutes of drying time. They talked, they prayed, they reminisced, they joked, they encouraged, and they scolded when someone started talking about giving up. They determined that they would survive together or not at all!

That is a picture of fellowship. That's the concept we come to today in our month long examination of Acts 2:42. We read the passage a moment ago. The First Christians devoted themselves to four priorities: 1) the Apostle's Doctrine, that is the message about what Jesus did and taught, 2) fellowship, our topic today, 3) the Breaking of Bread, the regular and frequent act of remembrance that Jesus started at the Last Supper, and 4) prayer, our final topic for next week.

For us fellowship needs to be defined. We use the term, but more often than not limit " ...

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