Fellowship. An idea that has been on my mind a lot this week.
Thousands of us around the world are still praying for Joanne because the swelling in her brain is at a dangerous and critical level. We are praying God moves miraculously in her body that we might glorify Him alone in this.
My fiancee and I are starting to look for a church home so that we have a place to serve once we're married and I move down here. This week was our second church in two weeks. The pastor at today's church taught on Acts 2:41-47. The early church devoted themselves "to the apostle's teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer."
The word "fellowship" is the Greek word Koinonia, which, according to the New Testament Greek Lexicon, means:
Koinonia: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse
1. the share which one has in anything, participation
2. intercourse, fellowship, intimacy
3. the right hand as a sign and pledge of fellowship (in fulfilling the apostolic office)
4. a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, as exhibiting an embodiment and proof of fellowship
I love that the original word implies intimacy - when we fellowship, we should be intimate with each other, with our Lord. It is an act that only occurs within community, and there should be mutual giving and benefits.
The pastor today reminded us that we typically think of fellowship as a horizontal relationship - something that occurs between Christians, but that it cannot be separated from our vertical relationship with Christ. The relationship with Christ - the study of the apostle's doctrine - is what creates the human relationships.
That hit home, because all too often I have lamented the quality of "fellowship," feeling it was little more than superficial socialization. But it doesn't have to be - not if we root our fellowship in Christ. If He is the reason for our meeting, the reason for our speaking, the reason for our rejoicing and boasting to each other, we attain true fellowship.
I have been experiencing fellowship in new ways lately - with my fiancee, on the LPM online community, at my current home church, and hopefully soon at a church down here where my fiancee lives. I'm reminded that fellowship isn't supposed to be about what "they" can do for "me," but how "we" can glorify God and support each other together.
May God bless our koinonia and show us how to serve Him through our relationships.