Chubby Bunnies

28 09 2010

Remember being a kid, stuffing your mouth full of marshmallows, trying to say, “Chubby Bunnies”? I don’t know why we thought that was hilarious, but it is one of those kooky traditions that has carried forward from one generation to the next. It works with other things; grapes, for example. I don’t know what is funny about cramming ridiculous amounts of things into one’s mouth and grinning like a moron, but apparently it is because everyone does it at one time or another.

The thing with Chubby Bunnies is, it becomes a competition; who can cram the most in?  Towards the end you are choking and gagging and the whole wad ends up in the garbage can. What a delightful game that is.

For whatever reason, that is the image that was in my head this morning (strange but true) after I read Acts 2:44-45. To recap: Jesus dies and after 3 days rises from the dead. He appears to plenty of people and talks about His Mission wherever He goes for 40 days. Then He ascends to heaven and the followers are all a bit lost so they head back to town and wait; which is good, because while they are waiting they are given the gift of the Holy Spirit who empowers them to speak in all sorts of languages.  Peter gives an amazing speech in front of a ginormous crowd. The people are cut to the heart, repent and are baptized and then they begin gathering together and becoming the Church.

And what happened then?

One commentator put it this way:

The outpouring of the Spirit produced not just momentary enthusiasm but four continuing commitments: to learn, to care, to fellowship and to worship… at its center was the gospel message. And so today, to devote oneself to the apostles’ teaching means evangelism as well as edification

(If you want to read the whole article go to http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Acts/New-Testament-Church-Life)

In the beginning, people didn’t learn things for learning’s sake. They didn’t take in more and more information because they liked the speaker and they appreciated the “new take” on a particular Bible passage. That would have been a luxury they could not afford as Jesus’ words were ringing freshly in their ears; plus, they were pressed on every side by the established religious and political system who wanted to quell their enthusiasm.  In the beginning, learning would have been viewed as instructions. Instructions; get the difference?

Instructions are directions and commands; things that are meant to be followed and this is exactly what we read about in Acts 2:44-45 as they purposefully gather and purposefully scatter.

I am not saying this doesn’t happen today, but let’s be honest; Christians are notoriously entertained playing Chubby Bunnies. We cram our mouths full of “food” and grin at each other and, in so doing, are less amusing than we think and certainly less attractive. And what comes of stuffing ourselves silly? The whole wad of it is often wasted as we don’t actually “become something” and as we aren’t actually changed; all that learning and hardly anything around us is affected.

After all the preaching, all the posturing, all the lessons, all the listening, all the sharing, all the shouting, all the theology, all the theorizing, its time to stop playing around. We need to BE something and DO something with what we are learning!

Whether the “signs and wonders” element be taken as normative for today (Wimber 1986:21) or as simply the authentication of a fresh stage of revelation (Stott 1974:13), clearly Luke is certain that the church’s presence will have an impact on society. A Caring, Joyful, Transparent Fellowship (2:44-47)

There are things I think the Church is waking up to, but there is so much more. I know it, I am a part of it, and it feels like it is right there…within reach. But there is a big hurdle: we must have a desire; a DESIRE, that compels us to live out Christ’s dream and to not give up. We are going to frustrate each other; we are going to bang around trying to be transparent and honest and helpful but turning out to be less so. All of us will need to adjust as we go; forgive as we go; mature as we go; and tend our own fire so that we don’t lose the desire to continue and continue in this.

Sometimes I think we need to have a spiritual garage sale and lighten the load a bit. We need to sell off our arguments and differences and try unity for a change, unity that doesn’t mean we agree on everything, just that we choose to agree on the main things. We need to box some of our “personal convictions” and practices that are of no practical benefit to anyone but only exist to make a point. We need to free ourselves of all the things we have picked up that just take up space and don’t advance the kingdom in any way. We are overly concerned with antiques and too easily enamored with trendy fads; we have too much stuff that we think is important and isn’t!

We are stuffed! We need to start over and open up some living room to live a more “in common” life with room for each other, and others.

— Teresa Klassen

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2 responses

28 09 2010
Randy Runzer

Teresa

Your last four paragraphs remind me of 2 Peter 1:5-7. It starts with faith and personal reflection but ultimately leads to action. Peter says in verse 8 “…they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”. But if I’m brutally honest about myself, it is a lot easier work, less messy and safer to reflect inward rather than to do what Christ commanded in Mathew 28:19-20. Mike’s message on Sunday was about the Holy Spirit and I hope that if we make it our mission to live out the fruit of the Spirit as Paul states in Galations 5:22-23, we can live a more common life with room for each other and others.

28 09 2010
teresaklassen

We need to stick with one another because it is definitely a “together” experience, holding each other to these things, encouraging one another, “spurring one another on” in love, for the love of Christ!

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