Monday, November 28, 2005

Fellowship and Fulfillment

Fellowship is a deeply Christian concept. Outside of Tolkien, in modern times there is not much focus on it. But consider this: Without fellowship, a friendship is shallow, a marriage is a failure, a family is a shell; without it, we count our days as empty. Fellowship is an abiding type of love that comes near to a union of the souls. When looking at ultimate satisfaction in life, fellowship is our deepest need.

Like too many matters of the heart, it has been relegated to an area of things feminine and optional. The early church saw things differently:
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to breaking of bread and to prayers -- Acts 2:42
The early church had the same commitment to fellowship as to the teachings of the apostles, breaking bread, and prayers. Most of the Christians I know are very aware of the need to devote themselves to the apostles' teachings and to prayers. Depending on the group of Christians, they may or may not devote themselves to breaking bread. But it is rare to meet a group that devotes itself to fellowship. It is neglected; we neglect our brothers sitting next to us in the pews. Some have ceased to come entirely.

Fellowship with God Himself
And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. -- 1 John 1:3
God chooses to give the world something we would hardly dare to hope: to have fellowship with God himself. God Himself is present in our world. He has bound himself to be present in his word, and in the breaking of bread, in prayers, and when we gather together in his name. In the Holy Spirit, God Himself is present even within us.

This is just a small part of what the Scriptures say about fellowship. My hope for now is this: to reclaim the rightful place of fellowship in Christian talks as the first step to reclaiming its rightful place in Christian life.


Mark said...

In lieu of trackback, I've linked you here.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Excellent post! We have reduced "fellowship" to pot luck suppers or cookies in the church foyer. It is so much more. Thanks for these thoughts.