Living Lessons for Sunday, May 25th, 2014
“Teaching them to share”: By Christopher Wiles
Sharing is a big deal in our house. Seriously, when you have two home-schooled boys who are close in age, sleeping in the same rooms, and doing a lot of the same things all day long, teaching kids to share is a priority! Yet I’m not just talking about sharing toys, even though it is important. Even more of a priority is sharing in household responsibilities, sharing conversation around the dinner table, and sharing in doing encouraging things for each other. Sharing is a big deal to us.
The church is often likened to a family or a household in the New Testament (Eph 2:19) with our identity as an adopted children in the Father's family punctuated with this exclamation in Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Since you and I are a family with the same Abba, Father, then sharing should matter within our church too shouldn't it? I'm not just talking about sharing the building reservations, pews, songbooks or monetary blessings though. I’m thinking about sharing in responsibilities and spiritual conversations, like my own family. Let’s consult what the early church did to share like a family in 1 Corinthians 14:26b, “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.” Isn't it amazing that each one coming together had something to share? The following verses of chapter 14 give structure and stability to that sharing but let’s not miss the fact of this verse, everyone had something to share.
Too often churches attract receivers instead of sharers. Receivers are people who attend only expecting to receive something from the sermon, song selection, and prayer requests, even though the early church operated differently. Let’s not be receivers only, because our church is stronger when everyone shares. Share your spiritual thoughts with the person next to you in the pew. Share a scripture with an elder that has been on your heart this week. Share in teaching Bible classes, leading worship, preaching a sermon. Share by putting your thoughts on the church sign or in a church bulletin article. Whatever you have from the Lord, there is an appropriate place to share it.
Above all, make sure you are serving your neighbor, studying scripture, and praising God throughout the week so that when we come together Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening, you too may have something to share with the family.