Skip to main content

Farmer's Markets and Communities

This summer Anna and I have been packing up some goods from our garden on Saturday morning and driving the seven mile stretch from our home to Greencastle. We arrive on the north side of the court house about 7:45 am and set up a meager booth at the local farmer's market.

We've seen several of you on those Saturday mornings as you stop by to grab a few items to enjoy that day. I always enjoy seeing you there. In fact, I enjoy the whole experience - the mingling of people and goods, stories and music.

There's something about the Saturday morning atmosphere at the farmer's market that facilitates community. It is very similar to the fellowship hour following church on Sunday mornings. Released from the demands of the work week, people are willing to stop and talk for a while. Many times, Anna and I will find ourselves having great conversations only to discover that it's already about time to pack up our goods for the day. We may not sell much, but we leave the market rich every week - more fully connected to this community we live in. Just like we do whenever we get together at church.

Paul, the apostle, spent a lot of time at the markets of his day, and for good reason. Paul enjoyed and understood the value of community and relationships. He was deeply aware that the richest things in life were not material goods; they were the things coming to us from the infinitely relational God and Creator of heaven and earth. So, he routinely took time just to sit and talk - to trade stories and memories and hopes. He was excellent at exchanging with others.

But, more than anything else, Paul wanted to exchange with others the hope, peace and joy that Christ Jesus gave to him. Compelled by Christ, Paul would go from city to city lugging his supplies and his testimony all in hopes of spreading the good news: God is working to draw together all people into a new, redeemed community ... if we are willing to let Him do that good work.

Paul's example gives good reason for us to reflect on our own living. For Paul, his life was focused primarily on living into his new calling as a member of God's new community, the Kingdom of God. And, his desire was to help others see the virtue and goodness of this new community, this new movement, by the way he lived and behaved - including how he behaved at the local market. Can you say that your living is focused on the Kingdom of God?

As you enter into the final few days of this week and this weekend, take a moment to ask yourself: What (or who) is my community? What unifies me to other people?

Then, take some time in prayer - thanking God for the community He has given to you to enjoy and share and praying for God's will and work to be done in your community.

We'll be at the farmer's market again this Saturday. Hope to see you there. And, of course, I hope to see you on Sunday as God gathers us and uses us to proclaim His glory.

Blessings,

Wes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Acts 2:42-47 - Questions for Reflection & Study

This past Sunday, we took a look at Luke's first summary passage in the story of Acts:  chapter 2, verses 42-47.  Here, Luke is presenting a billboard of what the Church looks like at its best.  He is trying to convince Theophilus that Christianity is worth his attention. 

The early Church captures what all of us are looking for, whether we know it or not.  This is a close community that truly cares for one another, where everyone truly is seen as a brother and sister, and where no one person is considered more or less important as the other.  Needs are being met.  There is joy in their fellowship. 

Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you experienced the joy and blessing of a deep, loving community?  Where was it, and what made this community so different?  What role did you play in this community?
Luke tells us the disciples "devoted themselves" to four essential practices.  The Greek word for "devoted" is one that is often used in the context…

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…