Daily reading: 8 April

Everything they owned was held in common and there was not a needy person among them.

Something to read

Now 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 ... There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

Acts 4:32-35

Something to think about

In this passage Luke gives us a glimpse of the life of the early church. Here is a community living out what the apostles preached. Here is good news in action: what they owned was held in common, they sold their possessions so no one would be in need. And as a result, there was not a needy person among them. Don’t you just long for the day when we will be able to say that?

Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in the last 25 years, through the work of Christian Aid and many others. Yet, deep inequality in our world persists. Our culture actively promotes accumulating money and things, survival of the fittest, putting yourself first. It criticises and demeans those who are poor and vulnerable. But not so in the early Christian community. There different values hold sway, love and justice reign. It is no longer business as usual.

It is hard to hold up a vision of a different world and to live by it. But by God’s grace, we can do so too. We can keep our priorities in harmony with what Jesus told us about loving God and our neighbour. We can be brave and hold out for the good in the face of what is not life giving. And when we do, remarkable things can happen.

Something to do

To end poverty, we must tackle the symptoms and the systems that keep people poor. That’s why Christian Aid campaigns for tax justice. Take ten minutes today to watch Christian Aid’s video on the tax justice campaign

Something to pray

God of love and justice, help us to live today by the values of your kingdom: may we touch the world with goodness, live with love and compassion, share generously and gladly and stand up for what is just and true. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Francis Brienen, who is Deputy General Secretary (Mission) of the United Reformed Church.