Standing with the Eleven
Standing with the Eleven
As Collin spoke this past Sunday, I was both encouraged and reminded how we are continuously called to community. It is just a brief reference, but in Acts 2:14, Luke tells us that “Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them…”
We have to keep in mind the context of this situation to understand the significance and relevance to our own lives. They are in Jerusalem at Pentecost, which is the culmination of a seven-week celebration for the Jewish culture. There were thousands of people there, and the Apostles are standing before them as Peter delivers a bold message on how Jesus was “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men (vs. 23).” Or in other words, you folks hearing my words, you missed the signs and wonders Jesus did when He was here, and you killed him. This sermon is likely to have not been well-received, and it would have definitely been considered heretical for most of the people hearing it. But while standing with his brothers, he delivered a message that “cut to the heart,” (vs. 37) and 3,000 souls were added to the kingdom that day.
We have all heard, and likely related to, Peter’s boldness and brashness at times, yet even he needed the support of his community to do something mighty for God. I have no doubt that with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Peter could have delivered the same message with the same outcome if his eleven brothers were not supporting him – but he didn’t have to. Those men who had lived, traveled and ministered together, also stood together. They chose to not only continue to live in community, but to minister and spread the Gospel in community.
So the questions are with whom who are you standing and who is standing with you? We don’t need to focus on the numbers and look for eleven specific people, but my prayer is we all find the community we are called to, the people with whom we can stand, and the joy that fellowship brings.
As one of the Four Pillars found in the Acts of the Apostles (vs. 2:42), may we all continue to lean-in and lean on each other for community and all its goodness. May we not only learn to live in community more deeply, but also to use it for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to the World with love. Jesus tells us in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Let us all love one another in community for His glory.