Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                              October 5, 2009
The Church as Economic Community
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Just a reminder that the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Sukkot) is October 4-11
Let's all be reminded that Yeshua will, one day, tabernacle among us as King of kings!
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Dear ,
challahWhat if I could guarantee God would meet your every need for the rest of your life? And not only you...your family's, too. But there's a catch. What if I could only guarantee God's provision on this condition: you committed to living life loose-fisted. In other words, whenever you saw a need and it was within your power to meet'd see to it.
Honestly, I'm not so sure the above scenario is all that far-fetched. But we rarely live like it, don't ya think? As I reflect on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot...going on right now), I'm once again reminded that hoarding stuff is foolish, especially when the Bread of Life tabernacles among us, providing for all our needs.
QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Letting what you have belong to others, too
The Church as Economic Community
Excerpted from Body Politics by John Howard Yoder
acts2There should be no surprise that the Pentecost account ends with another account of common meals. The disciples' life together is summarized in four activities: Author Luke tells us that the "remained faithful to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers" (Acts 2:42) and "they met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously" (2:26). Only because that meal was at the center of their life together could it extend into the formation of economic community: "no one claimed for his own use anything that he had" (4:32). The "common purse" of the Jerusalem church was not a purse: It was a common table. It arose not as the fruit of speculation or discussion about ideal economic relations; it was not something added to what was already going on. The sharing was rather the normal, organic extension from table fellowship. Some of the first Jerusalem believers sold their estates voluntarily (Acts 5 indicates that it was not mandatory) and polled their goods because in the Lord's presence they ate together, not the other way around (1992:16).
My Reflections 
Our God is good, isn't he? And yet, we often don't trust him. No, it's not so much that we don't understand it in our minds. We know what the Scriptures say.

"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt 6:31-34). 
Yes, we know Matthew 6, but it's our actions that truly reveal how we relate to God in the matter.
A bunch of stuff played into my choosing of this week's topic. All are relevant. First, I shared with a budding house church last night about the reality of genuine community. As I spoke, I could tell they were seriously grappling with the implications.
Second, in addition to reading this week's Torah portion, my LTG (Life Transformation Group) and I read Matthew. As we talked about what we read (Mt 6), we were humbly reminded how attached we get to stuff...and to a certain (American) quality of life.
returnThird, because it's Sukkot, I was reminded how fleeting this life is. I must ask myself, How aware am I of the reality of a coming Kingdom? I must also ask, As far as it concerns me, how willing am I to embody a present manifestation of the Kingdom? Practically, How willing am I to live out Acts 2 and 4?
During the remaining days of Feast of Tabernacles, I simply invite you to reflect with me on our temporary condition. Let's think less about protecting ourselves and more about being a blessing to others.
And, oh yes, He's coming back!
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table