URC Daily Devotion 22nd April 2024

Monday 22nd April 2024

 

Acts 2:42-47
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
 
Reflection
Andrew Roberts’ book ‘Holy Habits’ has had a significant impact on the life of the Church, including our part of it, in recent years. Perhaps you read the book on your own, or together in your congregation,  or even used the great series of discussion booklets.

You may even remember the ten habits, if not here is a reminder:
·       Biblical Teaching
·       Fellowship
·       Breaking of bread
·       Prayer
·       Giving
·       Service
·       Eating Together
·       Gladness and generosity
·       Worship
·       Making more disciples

The danger can be however, and dare I suggest particularly for our denomination, is that we tick things off and think we did that series or that programme or initiative and develop initiative fatigue. Discipleship formation conversely is about habit forming, in the words of Eugene Peterson ‘A long obedience in the same direction’ and this is so true of Evangelism, or ‘making more disciples’ as Holy Habits describes it.

There is another challenge, which is related but somewhat counter-intuitive, and that is that overthinking our habits instead of repeatedly practising them can actually diminish them. Perhaps like me you learned a foreign language at school but because you have not regularly used it you have lost much of the beauty of speaking the language that even Google translate cannot redeem.

For some of us, having the good will of the people and seeing people regularly begin to follow Jesus can seem a million miles away from our lived experience. And so honestly and painfully, it can be that we are often struggling to speak the language of good news, but we are hanging in there and we are not without hope, and neither are we under condemnation.

Perhaps today it is enough to call to mind a clause from our Bible reading; ‘awe came upon everyone’ and to seek, in the words of Andrew Roberts, a divinely infused passion, urgency, energy and fruitfulness about the holy habit of making disciples.

Prayer
Awe inspiring God, 
I confess my need of your Spirit 
to help me to speak this language of salvation 
and continue to form discipleship habits. 
Thank you for the fellowship of believers,  
all that we can do together 
and all that we can do to equip and encourage 
each other in your mission. 
Let the words of my mouth 
and the meditation of my heart, 
be acceptable to you, 
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

 

 

Today’s writer

The Revd Eddie Boon is the Thames North Synod Discipleship Enabler
 

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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