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Read Acts 5:12-14
For the most part, the concept of a front porch has become obsolete in our culture. You can certainly still find them in some of the older cities in the U.S. But as I’ve traveled nationally I noticed that most newer home developments are devoid of front porches.
I grew up in an older part of the U.S. where front porches abounded. Memories of warm summer nights, slapping our arms because of mosquitos, someone plucking on a guitar, sipping lemonade and, of course, hearing the latest neighborhood juicy gossip.
Front porches were warm, inviting, a place of gathering, a safe place, a location that provided a sense of community.
Let’s dig around the fertile soil of the Old Testament:
Biblical history tells us of an important porch in culture in the days of the Old and New Testaments. The place? Solomon’s porch. As pictured above, it is a specific location on the Temple Mount where “all the believers used to meet together”.
Originally, it was built as a place of judgment. No doubt it was the gathering place for the Sadducees and Phariesees who would dole out their usual harsh opinions and judgments.
Interestingly, we find that Jesus spent time there (John 10:22-24) revealing truth about Himself to those who were serious inquirers rather than doling out harsh opinions.
By the time the New Testament was written, it was a key place that the followers of Jesus gathered to have fellowship, enjoy a sense of community, a unique working of God in their midst and, by nature of their unity, they were impacting their culture. Notice it says in Acts 5:14 “more and more people believed…”
So, how do these insights apply to your situation?
On a personal level:
- Is your life “inviting” to those without Jesus? In other words, are they attracted to Him because of your warm, winsome witness or do they view you as an obnoxious, holy man or woman?
- Do you invite God-led, healthy discussions with those around you? (Check out I Peter 3:15)
On a corporate level:
- Think about your small group, your church, ministry or whatever other community you might be in as a believer. Do those without Jesus see a reason to inquire about God’s impact in your life?
- Does your group function as a “holy huddle” or are you willing to invite the world into your group so that they can see Jesus modeled up close and personal.
Do we reflect the image of an inviting “Front Porch” or a “No Trespassing Sign”?