Rose, Thorn, Bud: Christian Fellowship

Adam Stout

READ : Acts 4:32-37

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul. (v. 32)

There’s a tradition I share with good friends called “rose, thorn, bud.” Following a meal together, we go around in a circle. Each person shares one thing from the week that has brought joy (the rose). We then share a grief or frustrating trial (the thorn). Finally, we share something we’re looking forward to in the near future (the bud). Then we pray for each other.

This simple act of sharing followed by prayer never fails to yield blessing. It also leads us one step closer to being “one in heart and soul.” The disciples in Acts 2:42 “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” The Holy Spirit still works through this combination of sharing, studying, praying, and eating together (even if it’s just chips and salsa!).

We were created to worship God in community. Jesus earnestly prayed for his followers to be one in him (see John 17:20-21). That unity doesn’t happen automatically. It requires the Holy Spirit and effort on our part.

Having recently moved to another city, I have discovered that it takes time to build Christian community. But if Jesus wants us to have deep, intimate fellowship with each other, God will certainly provide brothers and sisters in Christ. He might even call us to step out in faith and make it happen!

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for Christian fellowship.