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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Advent booklet: HeartEdge principles

This year at St Martin-in-the-Fields we invited our congregation to write pages for our #Advent2016 booklet. Each day a new reading, reflection and prayer on the theme, “At the Heart. On the Edge.”, is being posted on our twitter account and facebook page. Here is my first piece in the booklet which was Wednesday's reflection:

HeartEdge principles

All who believed … had all things in common; they would sell their … 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. (Acts 2. 44 – 47)

The Early Church was formed at the very heart of Jerusalem and Judaism while also being on the edge because they were the few (albeit, a rapidly growing number) who followed and believed in Jesus Christ as Messiah. As such they developed an ethos for and practices of being at the heart and on the edge which have inspired and challenged the Church through the ages. Our understanding of mission as involving compassion, cultural expression and commerce rooted in a vibrant congregational life can be traced right back to these first Christians who gathered together regularly, sold their possessions and goods, gave support to those in need, and whose praise of God included singing the first hymns. In building HeartEdge, a new network of churches for the 21st century, we can find many of the principles that will need to inform this network in the example of these first Christians. They trusted that God would give everything they needed for their life together as people on the edge. They did unbelievable things together by starting with one another’s assets, not their deficits. They thrived as the gifts of all were released and they built one another’s assets.

HeartEdge God, inspire and challenge us through the example of the Early Church in Jerusalem to create opportunities for nurturing generosity and cooperation and, by doing so, encourage others to find their way to becoming abundant communities that open space for generosity and cooperation. Amen.


The Innocence Mission - Bright As Yellow.

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