Acts 2:41-47 is our text for Sunday's message, the second in our Get Connected Series. Last week we walked through 1Peter 4:11-14, thinking through the need for being connected - both for Peter's friends, and ours. This week we explore being connected through Refrigerator Rights, and we can see what it looked like in the earliest church of Jerusalem in the days following Pentecost.
What is Refrigerator Rights?
It is a way of describing the kind of relationship you have with family, friends, fellow-believers and neighbors - that they could stop by any time and help themselves to the leftovers in the fridge. No need to ask, you spend so much fun time together anyway, it's almost expected that they'd help you get rid of last weeks spaghetti.
The description we have of the early church in Acts 2:41-47 is chock full of what we call "koinonia", a Greek word used describe generosity, sharing an item in common, enjoying each others company, being connected in a deep and delightful way. To have koinonia is to have Refrigerator Rights. This early church met formally in the temple courts for the prayers and preaching, but they met informally in homes, sharing the Eucharist together, a simple meal, lots of laughter and life. They didn't have refrigerators back then, but they hung alot of their dried food from the ceiling (to keep it away from damp dirt floors, rats, you know, that kind of stuff...). So I'm sure that when temple court prayers were over, people ambled over to their assigned households, enjoying the setting sun, the coming on of dusk with a bright moon, and multiple colors of dark blue emerging against the hilly Jerusalem countryside. The slip through the narrow doorways of the homes, and everyone just starts grabbing for the ceiling, getting food ready for the evening meal.
Without trying to sound to idyllic or idealistic, I think there is a powerful connection between the koinonia of the early church and the power of their gospel witness. And I think there is a connection between our lack of koinonia/refrigerator rights and our at times anemic preaching/living out of the gospel in our homes, cubicles, neighborhoods and churches. We are lonely, lonely people, how can you be strong and servant-leading, how can you be a healer and a hero when you walk with a heart full of shadowy secrets, a soul stewing in quiet despair?
Koninoia/refrigerator rights make up the bulk of the story of the early church, and I think it ought to make up more of our story at Anchor. Come Sunday to connect...