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Resurrection as shared life

Girls on tricycleby Mihee Kim-Kort

Before our third child, Ozzie, came into our lives, the moms in my new moms group would often lament that when trying to teach their children to share, having a single child made that task difficult. They assumed that because my spouse and I first had twins, this created an environment that would lend itself naturally towards sharing.

Except here’s the thing: I would say that 80 percent of the time our kids have trouble sharing. They are very territorial. Very possessive. One of our preschool-aged twins, Anna, has developed an alarming tendency toward hoarding. If I’m missing a magazine or book I’ve been reading, inevitably, it will be found in the top drawer of her dresser.

Sharing is not innate. It’s not normal. It’s definitely not easy. But sharing is a major facet of being in community, not only for individual families, but for college students and others who live on campuses, for people living in neighborhoods and for our workplaces. Our kids might not get it now, but I know eventually they will have to figure out how to take turns with markers.

I serve as a campus minister at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Not so long ago, at a joint campus “Dinner Church,” we read from Acts about the life of the early church. Luke narrates how, in these idyllic days, the faithful sold all their possessions and shared all they had with their sisters and brothers in faith, so that there was not a needy person in their midst (Acts 4:32–35). It seems so clear, so easy. No other New Testament passage depicts the ideal of sharing with the Christ-following community so vividly.

This is a picture of the ideal community, one in which no one lacks anything. They obviously did not have preschoolers in charge. But guess what? Though these early Christians seemed to be of one heart and one mind, in the next passage Luke recounts a story of a couple, a husband named Ananias and a wife named Sapphira, who sold some property but kept back some of the proceeds and lied about it. When this was found out, Ananias literally dropped dead. Talk about some major drama. I mean Real World Confessional drama. (Does anyone still watch MTV’s Real World, a reality show that began in 1992, and features a group of diverse strangers living together in a different city each season?) Apparently even the first church had some flaws when it came to com­munity.

Here’s the reality: they were of one heart and soul, but not because they were obligated to do it or because they tried really hard. They did not sell their possessions because it was in their mission statement or required by law or the morally right thing to do. Instead, everything they did was because of their belief in the resurrection. And it was not only that Jesus overcame death but that the resurrection itself was a relational event. God resurrected Jesus; Jesus did not resurrect himself. God resurrects us, not just for ourselves, but for our fellow human beings.

Mihee Kim-Kort is an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister with degrees in divinity and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. She serves as a campus minister at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

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