What would Peter do?
Sometimes, in this crazy world, we wonder “What would Jesus do?” Well, I won’t sound very “spiritual” saying this, but I don’t KNOW what Jesus would do! Remember how he was always “confounding” everyone? Writing in the sand when a woman caught in adultery was brought to him, infuriating his disciples when he said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s – pay your taxes, in other words – and tearing up the very bastion of religious expression, the temple, with whips… So, I am bringing it on down to MY level – what would Peter do? Remember him, with permanent foot-in-mouth disease? He was saved by grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost turned into a solid rock of strength, bravery, and faith. Of course, I wanna be like Jesus, but for now, I will settle for being like the new and improved Peter. We will call him the example of the early church Christian. Consider it from the words of the day in Acts chapter 4:32-35 “The whole congregation of believers (Peter was their pastor) was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them. And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy.”
I love that! Not a person among them was needy… We all have our ideas of how to fix the current financial mess we are in. And yet Peter had the perfect solution – the CHURCH was the institute that took care of the believers, not Rome (the government).If you were a child who had lost both parents, or, according to the custom of the days, were a widowed woman with no means to make an income, the church cared for you. Cuts down on Welfare fraud, right? Also, makes this crazy new Way more attractive – believers take care of their own. Sadly, today, we as Christians are far more concerned with building bigger, better, and more church buildings than following the example of the early church.
Perhaps a woman is able to pay her bills with her salary but can’t afford childcare also (I get that!). Then her fellow sisters or brothers in Christ will care for her children while she works, or help her out with childcare expenses. Maybe a man has recently lost his job – is there anyone in our mega-churches today who could find a job for him, whether in their own company or another, or float him some money while he finds one? I am tired of giving my money to pay for matchy-matchy t-shirts at VBS, or 2200 pieces of mail regarding the latest program, or another building we could do without. I loved “widows’ day” at a previous church we attended. The handy folks in the congregation would take the evening and change the oil of the cars of the single moms or widows in the church. It usually turned into more – painting, lawn mowing, or other services. Jesus (and Peter) with feet on!
Call me crazy (or Peteress)… What do you think?