A Perfect Church?

Today's Bible reading: Acts 5:1-11

I hope none of you thinks that: that the early Church was perfect – like some king of ideal we can only hope to aspire to.  St. Luke doesn’t give us an idealized picture of the early Church – even at its beginning.  From the start it was a Church of sinners and saints.  As a matter of fact, it was just in this matter of sharing material things that trouble and conflict broke out.  We not only have controversy between the Greek speaking and Aramaic speaking sections over how the collections are to be shared out … there’s also the sad case of Ananias and Sapphira, who keep back for themselves some of the proceeds after selling property.  Their sudden death might seem to us like a pretty severe punishment for a seemingly small offense.  But Luke makes quite clear what their sin was.  They had every right to keep whatever they wanted for themselves from the sale of their own property … the problem was that they lied to the Holy Spirit.  They sinned against the Spirit and the fellowship of the Church which the Spirit gives.

Prayer: Lord, let a goodly measure of "fear and trembling" inform our trust in You.  Amen.