ST HELENS METHODIST CHURCH, HASTINGS
Minister’s Letter – June 2022
Of one heart and mind
This is a time of celebration for our nation as we give thanks to God for HM Queen Elizabeth and celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. In the Church we also celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was this event that empowered the disciples to proclaim all that God had done in Jesus and which brought the Church into being. It is God’s Holy Spirit who gives life and power to the people of God equipping us for mission and service.
We follow in the footsteps of the first disciples who were transformed by the gift of the Holy Spirit and empowered to proclaim the message of Good News with new power.
As the story of the early Church is told in the book of Acts we see that many who heard the apostles preaching believed in Jesus and became part of the Christian community. As the new community of believers grew it was marked by a strong sense of fellowship and sharing. Luke tells us that the believers were ‘of one heart and mind’ and in Acts 4:32-27 we see that their life together was characterised by four things:
- Unity – this does not mean never arguing but having a basic oneness which is prepared to compromise, forgive, heal hurts and work through disagreements.
- Generous sharing – of all that they have. The believers shared their possessions with one another for no one should be in need.
- Support for the leaders – in the first Christian community leaders were those who witnessed publically and with great power to the resurrection of Jesus.
- Receiving God’s grace – without this it would be impossible to be a ‘community of love’. God poured rich blessings on them all.
The first Christians were transformed by the gospel and were enthusiastic about their faith. But they were also concerned to put their faith into action, inside and outside the church. Ways that we might do this nowadays include lunch clubs, foodbanks, toddler groups and working with others to care for those in need as well as raising our voices to challenge injustice in our world.
The believers were ‘of one heart and mind’ – they worked together towards common aims and with a shared understanding of what God was calling them to be and to do and their mission bore fruit as more people became part of the Christian community.
Although the early Church had its problems and did not always live up to this ideal, we can be inspired and helped by their example of community life. The early Church was of ‘one heart and mind’: may this be a characteristic of all our community life too.