Spotlight 11/2022: A sense of togetherness is important
Feeling spiritually connected with one another is an expression of the power of the Holy Spirit. Such a sense of togetherness is a question of will and not of limited opportunities, says District Apostle Rüdiger Krause (Germany).
The Chief Apostle chose the motto “Together in Christ” for this year. When I was thinking about it at the beginning of the year, my thoughts turned to our brothers and sisters of the early church, of whom we read in Acts 4: 32: “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul.” I find the verse preceding this one quite interesting. It says there: “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
So receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit was a prerequisite for the believers to be of one heart and soul. Already then they were together in Christ. The Christians at the time were excited to carry out their mission and spread the word of the Lord. The decisive factor, however, was that they were one heart and soul. Because they were spiritually united they were able to spread the gospel of Christ. They were also united in love for one another. A little further in this passage it says: “Neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common” (verse 32). This must have been quite a challenge at the time. In the following chapter already, Acts 5, we can read about the incident with Ananias and Sapphira.
It is not imperative that we share all of our possessions with each other. Whether the first Christians really pooled all of their possessions at the time remains an open question. What mattered was their hearts’ attitude.
Our “Together in Christ” is being put to a special test in this time. Up until a few weeks ago, the attendance of the divine services in our congregations was possible only under restrictions and no one knew how long this state would last. Nor do we know if it will return. And yet we were able to remain inwardly connected with each other. I know of brothers and sisters who have in the meantime distanced themselves from the congregation. This is not in the spirit of Christ and ultimately does not lead to the goal. What is important is our inner attitude. Even though we could not see each other as usual and and be together it was still important to stay connected. This is the only way that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus can be witnessed and great grace can be upon us all, as verse 33 implies.
I urge all of us to have and maintain fellowship with one another in Christ. This is a question of will and not of limited opportunities. This is the only way we can follow the example of the first Christians: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2: 42).
Photo: NAC Northern and Eastern Germany