Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter – Acts 2:40-47

40 And with many other words (Peter) bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

A number of years ago we received a new member of the science faculty at Concordia University. He was coming from the faculty of a large state school, and, in that first semester of his teaching, he had some things which required his attention at his previous school. These duties conflicted with his lectures at Concordia. He approached the head of the department and asked what he should do. The department head turned to the rest of the science faculty and they all simply volunteered to teach his classes that day when he needed to be away. Sometime later that faculty member admitted to me that he had been overwhelmed by that day. He said such a thing would never have happened in the hyper-competitive environment of his previous school. He could not believe that people would cheerfully and willingly do this for him.

The outpouring the Spirit on that first Pentecost had a profound impact on the people who were baptized. They had all things in common. They gave as any had need. Paul speaks of it as being called out of darkness and into the light, a new life which is lived according to the gracious principle of Christ and not the death-dealing principle of the world.

The Good Shepherd leads you into paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. In days of pandemic, when it seems that the world is turned upside-down, a simple act of kindness, warmth, generosity, and gentleness can go far. Look for someone who needs that deed today. The Lord is still adding to that number.

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