Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

"Reach Out"

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

"Reach Out"

Article excerpt

Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1:1 - 2:2; John 20:19-31

The joy of the resurrection is, understandably, mixed with paralyzing fear, and the gospel of John portrays the ongoing struggle among Jesus' followers to understand exactly what happened and what it meant for this community of believers. Doubt, confusion, and disbelief raised more questions than answers, which is why John focuses on the physical details of Jesus' resurrected body. Jesus was not a disembodied spirit floating among them, but a tangible being whose wounds were still present: "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe" (John 20:27). Without believing in the resurrection, the disciples could not live it, and if they could not live the resurrection, neither could they "'reach out" and bear the new life of Christ to the world.

But they did believe. In the following months, the community's faith in the resurrection was so strong that. in Acts, Luke testifies that it bore the truest mark of the new reign of God, for "the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common" (Acts 4:32) To be Christian was to participate in a unique community in which all were of "one heart and soul," sharing both social and material equality. …

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