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By Joel Warren

You may not know it by my appearance, but growing up, I wasn’t always the first person picked for the pick-up basketball, dodgeball, or kickball game. We’ve all been in situations where we feel like outsiders and outcasts. To be chosen on the team brings a feeling of family, inclusion and, overall, a full heart. Deep down, God has given us a need for community, for a place to belong.

For all of us who stood up against the fence waiting to be included on the team, there’s encouraging news in Acts 2. The early church was proof that teamwork really does make the dream work.

The church in Acts 2 met every single day, breaking bread and praying together. The church also sought out needs in the community and sold off their possessions to share proceeds to those in desperation. They were consistent and committed, and formed strong and lasting bonds as a result.

As they grew in their faith each day, many were saved. What a great formula for church growth! There were no multi-million-dollar church buildings or celebrity pastors and singers necessary to bring people in. Instead, God did amazing things through the apostles as the church committed itself to fellowship.

Now, let’s get “ugly honest.” We have all driven up to the church building, parked our cars and expected the coffee to be fresh and the doughnuts to have the exact amount of icing for our taste (pun intended). We then take seats, hope for a good sermon, and for the worship music to make us tap our feet or stir our hearts just a little. Then we head home and have little thought about the church until we go through the routine the following Sunday. When we experience loss or tragedy, we then wonder why no one (the church) seems to check on us or care.

Are any of us tired? Anxious? Lonely? Over-committed to things that have no eternal purpose?

We can learn from the early church. We need each other to lean on as we worship and pray alongside each other. I am at my lowest when I am not living side by side with my church. God has chosen us for this time and this place.

St. Patrick’s is a church where God’s people love each other and grow and serve together. If we don’t follow the example of the church in Acts 2, as well as take advantage of the opportunity to be on the team, then we resort to the days of standing by ourselves against the fence, waiting to be picked for the pick-up game. What a sad and unnecessary existence. Let’s live this amazing life God has given us …. TOGETHER!

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