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This morning I began undertaking a study of the book of Acts.  Now, if you were to look at the Bible I use for studying Scripture, you would see various verses highlighted and notes in the margins and starred passages and underlined phrases.  As I read and study, I am often drawn to mark a text that jumps out to me in my reading.  So, since each time I read I uncover something new, I imagine that, at some point, every page in this study Bible of mine will be filled with highlighted text and notations.

 

So, this morning, I came upon a simple passage that for years has seemed to me to be a transition passage that added little to the overall theme of the subsection of Acts 2.  The subsection deals with the life among the Believers --among those newly converted to Christ-- and speaks plainly about how the Believers sold all they had and contributed the proceeds to one large pot that would then be used for the benefit of the whole of them.

 

What stood out to me today (and is now highlighted in my Bible) is Acts 2:44.  "All who believed were together and had all things in common."

 

To any of you who have ever visited with me after a program or concert or who may have been in earshot when someone expressed their admiration for my "chucking it all to follow God", you will have heard me say time and again that my story is not at all unique--it is only unique in that it is how the Story has manifested itself in my life.  And then, this morning, there it was in Scripture: "All who believed were together and had all things in common."

 

I feel sure I have said this before, but it certainly warrants repeating....  All along my journey, I have come across folks who have shared their stories with me, their stories of how they have listened and followed God.  And while each story was different, the Story was the same.

 

Huh?, you say.  My friend Howard told me of this strong sense of calling he felt to go back to school and study to become a therapist.  There were all kinds of obstacles in the way, and things kept him from pursuing it initially.  But finally, the call was too loud, and he wholeheartedly committed to following it, knowing full-well the obstacles that lay before him: he had missed entrance exam deadlines; he had a family to support; he had no money to pay for graduate school.  But he committed himself to the call, and then he was informed of an exception to the rule that enabled him to enroll even with his entrance exams pending.  And at the very moment he was to begin classes... and pay for them, and still having no money to do so... he went to the mailbox and found a letter stating that his interest in an apparently dry oil well that he had owned and forgotten about for years and years was now worth plenty.  The well had started producing.  Another young woman, a nurse, told me of her inexplicable urge to parent children with needs for consistency and structure and love.  But it was never the right time and she was making great money nursing.  Finally, though, she gave into the call, turning down a huge promotion, stepping out in blind faith, and suddenly finding that she and her family would have all of their needs taken care of... she and her husband are house parents for children who benefit from the existence and function of Presbyterian Children's Homes & Services.

 

I could tell you story after story like this.  And each time someone shares their story with me, we all sit there with goosebumps on our arms because we feel such an immediate kinship and such a strong sense of knowing and spiritual connectedness and deep understanding one for the other.  It is a oneness that comes through Christ.  And we each know that it is not our story that is unique, but it is the Story.  The Story of trust and faith and stepping through fear.  It is the Story of discipleship.  It is the Story of believing Christ's teaching that God will provide all that we need.

 

So, no matter who we are, what our conditions are, what our race or socio-economic position, no matter what language we speak, no matter what our gender, there is a oneness in Christ.  All who believe are together, and have all things in common.

 

Grace and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

7/03/06

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