Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Creation and Community (Acts 2:42–47)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Thursday, 30 March 2017

Week 5: Creation—Not for Sale

Week 5, Day 5

A prayer from the Didache, ca. AD 95

As the grain once scattered in the fields and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside are now reunited on this table in bread and wine, so, Lord, may your whole Church soon be gathered together from the corners of the earth into your kingdom. Amen

Creation and Community (Acts 2:42–47)

Chris McLeod, Anglican, Australia

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.

The climate changes; the seas rise; droughts last longer due to variations in rainfall; the seasons seem unpredictable; the eco-system is under threat; various animal species risk extinction; there is a great deal of uncertainty for those who earn their income from the land—the harsh realities of living in Australia in the twenty-first century. Those most affected are the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders in remote communities, whose living conditions are becoming almost unbearable. Yet, all of us are affected in one way or another as we witness the results of the poor stewardship of God’s creation.

The earliest believers experienced God’s generosity in community. Goods were shared and they “had all things in common” (Acts 2:4). There was a deeply held belief that each member of the community was responsible for the other (Acts 2:45). All this was experienced under God’s guidance and supported through prayer and worship (Acts 2:47). The pursuit of the common good was at the forefront of the earliest Christian belief.

This sense of community is found amongst many of the world’s indigenous peoples. We are here to live together, and our responsibilities are to the community first and foremost. Seeking to care for God’s creation is to care also for the community. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians cannot separate care for the community from care for creation. The two are inextricably linked: neglect creation, you damage the community. The creation is God’s sharing gift to the world community. Christian responsibility demands that we seek to reform our relationship with God’s creation and our global community, with the same righteous fervor that inspired Martin Luther and the reformers.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”