The second chapter of Acts is a pivotal chapter in the history of God’s people. The chapter begins with the explosion of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Jesus’ disciples, continues with Peter’s first sermon which results in 3000 baptisms, and concludes with a summary statement on the life of the earliest disciples. The 3000 new believers did not simple wander off into their old patterns of behavior. Rather they became devoted followers of Jesus.
They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)
The breaking of bread was mostly likely the earliest version of the sacrament of Holy Communion. The meal was one concrete way to stay connected to Jesus Christ. Through the Lord’s Supper they remembered him (I Cor. 11:24). The meal also meant that Jesus communed with the believers because it was his own body and blood that he gave with the bread and wine. Jesus was truly present. Also it proclaimed the Lord’s death until Jesus returned (I Cor 11:26).
Holy Communion continues to be a central part of our Christian faith and worship. We remember the past events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We commune with him in the present moment as we share the meal of his body and blood. And we look forward to our future hope of Christ’s return in glory.
The early disciples also devoted themselves to the prayers. Prayer was not new to the church. The Jews had been praying for centuries. Jesus had taught the disciples to pray using the words of the Lord’s Prayer. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, their prayers became supercharged. So can ours.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. (Romans 8:27)
The same Holy Spirit that powered the early church in its mission is the same Holy Spirit that works through our prayers. Let us ask God to create within us a similar devotion to the Apostle’s teachings, fellowship, breaking bread and prayer.
To which practice is God calling you to be devoted?
Lord, create in me a heart of devotion.