Jesus chose to share his life with his Disciples, a close group of people he lived with, ate with and shared each part of his everyday life with. He was close to them, loved them, taught them and was vulnerable with them.

In Acts 2 we also read that the early believers formed a community. They devoted themselves to teaching, but also to fellowship, sharing meals, prayer, sharing property and possessions. Their lives were interwoven with one another.

They did not meet once a week for a few hours catch up but moved close in relationship with each other by sharing life together.

In today’s modern and busy world, we can struggle to prioritise and make time for these shared experiences, put off by being overly busy and by wanting everything to be planned and perfect. The table set, best meat prepared, trying to represent the best of what we have to offer. This robs us of closeness and openness, stops our doors being open and removes the ability to form close relationships.

When we are close and meet regularly, the quality of venue and food is less important, as we realise the quality of relationship and closeness is what really matters. This isn’t easy, but I’d really like to encourage us all to invite people in if we are just having fish fingers for tea, invite them in if the washing’s not put away or there is one more job that just needs doing. Invite them in to share stories, worries, and hopes. Invite them into your lives to help with the school run, cut the lawns, be that extra pair of hands needed to complete that job.

I’d like to encourage us all to do this intentionally and often, forming close groups, growing close dependencies, doing life together, aware of each other’s struggles, hopes and ambitions. Supporting each other and shining Jesus’s love to the outside world through the way we treat each other.

It is my belief that sharing lives and love together in this way will support each one of us, and whilst we grow stronger in community, we will grow closer as a church family and provide a real demonstration of Jesus’s love in action in our community.