In fashion, an accessory is a non-essential item of clothing or jewelry. It might be a belt or a handbag. But an accessory can also be something that adds value or extends the function of something. For example, a printer and a camera are accessories that extend the capability of your computer.
Prayer was foundational to the spiritual life of the early church, but it did not stand alone. Today’s passage provides us with a snapshot of the spiritual life of the early church. It identifies the three foundational habits that supported the church’s prayer life. Luke says that the first Christians “devoted themselves” to these things (v. 42). This is the language of habitual practice. In first place was the habit of sitting under the apostle’s teaching. There is more implied in this phrase than merely listening to someone talk about the Bible. It implies a body of truth handed down to the church by those who were Christ’s representatives.
Second on Luke’s list was something he calls “fellowship.” We often use this term to refer to socializing. For us, fellowship time at church may mean little more than small talk and donuts. But it was something more substantial for the early church. The Greek word means “sharing.” It could generally refer to the bond between believers or the sharing of material goods (v. 44).
The church also observed “the breaking of bread.” Although this phrase can simply mean that they ate meals together, it seems more likely that it refers to a particular kind of meal. The early believers probably observed the Lord’s Supper every time they met. This memorial meal celebrates Christ’s death and resurrection (1 Cor. 11:23–26). Luke may indicate that the early Christians observed it every time they met (v. 46).
>> Does the church life described in Acts 2:42–47 match your own church experience? In what ways do the practices of your congregation differ from or compare to those of the early church? What can we learn from these believers?