“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42
The way we devote our time, money, and attention can be ever changing. The world offers us countless competitors for our devotion. We can devote ourselves to our jobs, to our family, to fear and worry, to a national identity, and even to trivial things such as sports teams. While some measure of devotion to most of these is not inherently bad, we see a different model for devotion in the Christian life in Acts 2:42. In this verse we see Christians are to be devoted to four specific things: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers. This is a timely reminder for us in a season when we can be devoted to statistics on the news, or completely lose all devotion to anything while under stay-at-home orders. We need this reminder. We need to be reminded that we are called to be devoted to the Word, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. Of course, not all of this is possible at the current time. So, what do we do? Do we just write it off saying that Acts 2:42 didn’t foresee a global pandemic limiting our meetings with others? Absolutely not! No, instead we devote our attention to the Word and prayer, and we devote our desire to gathering and the breaking of bread.
We must devote our attention to the Word and prayer. In Acts 2:42, Luke writes that those who received his word, “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” This is the Word of God—the Bible. What the apostles taught first century believers is not lost to modern Christians. By the sovereignty of God, the apostles’ teaching has been preserved and contained in our Bible today. During times of solitude we have the opportunity to dive deep into the Word. We can sit at the feet of our Savior and meditate on his word. These are not times to be distracted like Martha, but to be devoted like Mary and seeking the good portion (Luke 10:38-42).
Likewise, let us be devoted to prayer. As we read through Luke’s Gospel, perhaps you noticed the numerous mentions of Christ removing himself from others to pray (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; 11:1; 22:41). Jesus set the example for his followers. Right now, some of us are feeling the weight of being alone. But, remember that this is an opportunity to spend time in prayer. Pray through the church directory. Call a fellow member and pray over the phone. Pray through a psalm, reflecting on the hope it gives you during this season. No matter how you go to the Lord, use this time to be devoted to prayer.
As mentioned before, Acts 2:42 is not something we can completely do right now due to the coronavirus. But what we can’t devote our efforts to, we can devote our desires to. We can let our longings grow for the fellowship and breaking of bread. In a time when fellowship is limited to socially distant methods of emails and phone calls, video chats and drive-by wavings, we can allow our desire to gather together to grow and increase. Let the absence from your church family make your heart grow fonder. Yearn for a Sunday morning gathering, or for meeting in one another’s homes for small groups. Let your heart long to share meals with one another, and eagerly desire to approach the Lord’s Table with your brothers and sisters in Christ, remembering his sacrifice for us. Go to the Lord in prayer with this desire, asking him to increase your longing and make it possible for us to gather again soon. In the meantime, join a small group and connect in anyway possible.