May 9, 2013, 12:19 PM
Christians have the obligation to help others as the early Christians did without counting the cost. Christ Himself shared and invited others to share the little that was there. Sharing later became the norm for Christians to thread on without asking why. In the world today, Christians whether poor or rich, are no exception to giving to others, even those who do not have should try to give the little they have. During Lent it is seen at play and after the Lenten season Christians should follow the trend. The early Christians put it into practice as we see it in the Gospels. In Acts of the Apostles for example, we find how Ananias and Sapphire sold their properties and stole the money without sharing with their fellow disciples. You know what had happened to them?
They were cursed until they have to bring back the proceeds and given to the disciples.
The first Christian community shared everything in common, and the first thing we hear about Barnabas is that he sold his estate and laid the money at the apostles' feet. Luke describes him as a "Good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" whose encouragement resulted in many people persevering in their faith. And there was one man in particular who was helped by Barnabas his name was Paul.
Remember that Paul had been the grand inquisitor and unrivalled as persecutor for the Church. After his conversion, Paul tells us that he spent three years in the
It was particularly meant to help those who would follow Christ to the fullest. Following Christ entails a lot but many would think that it is just easy. Those who do their own thing would think Christianity as easy. Take firstly the example, when Jesus said, "love your neighbour as thyself." This crowns everything and allows for Christians to be more loving and be for the other. The love Christianity preaches is more than a surface love- it goes deeper than what many think as love. Eg. Love your neighbour as you would love yourself. No one would kill himself as a Christian as a result no one is expected to kill the other, owing to another fact that the ten commandment commands us not to kill as the fifth commandment for mankind. The nature of Christianity is encompassed in love and sharing.
But one man encouraged Paul in his new life and decided to sponsor him. Barnabas had been appointed to superintend the Church in
Indeed sharing cannot go without loving. It was rather a good chance for the disciples to show that love through sharing. A selfish Christian does not demonstrate love, a love that lives on to show to others that they are Christians. But how many Christians look low on others because they are better off? Some take others as second class and others let their fellow Christians suffer in the name of being better than the other. But is that what Christ demanded? "Love your neighbour as yourself," Christ commands. Why do some Christians see the other as enemy? Why hate any one? Yes, it is happening and Christ detests it.
Paul and Barnabas travelled widely together and as you heard in one of the Sunday readings, "They put fresh heart into the disciples encouraging them to persevere in the faith." Paul extended to others the encouragement he had received from Barnabas. For Barnabas saw something in Paul that no other apostle saw, he saw beyond the face of the persecutor into the heart of a man who was struggling to be an apostle. Barnabas called out the best in Paul. And he did that not from long distance but through staying with him for 1400 miles of travelling and preaching. That's a lot of sponsorship and a lot of encouragement!
Paul had given without counting the cost. He got his conversion and made a head way to becoming one of the apostles. Those he persecuted were surprised as to how Paul could change as such. But remember, "God draws straight lines in crocked path." It did not come as a surprise to see how the wicked were changed or converted to becoming saints. Giving and sharing is the answer, combined with forgiveness to the highest level. Christians should therefore share to imitate from the early Christians and take up the footsteps of Christ, who left his precepts for Christians to follow. Every Christian should give, not only giving to the poor, but also giving of your time for others, your love, your kindness, assistance and in all be for the other as Christ would be for you. By so doing one is liable to receive the heaven that is promised for those who are on the right path in doing God's work.
Resurrection Celebrates Parish Feast and Harvest
In line with love and sharing, the Resurrection Parish at Brikama celebrated their Feast and Harvest this past Sunday 5th Sunday of Easter. They received a massive turn out from other Churches to show love and celebrate their day together. Many would love a repeat of the celebration but not until next Resurrection.
Saint Therese's is poised for their Family Day celebration next Sunday. All families will gather in union and love to celebrate the whole day and share food and love. Music and dancing will continue unabated. This is in line with the self-reliant Church.