The summer is finally here and for SRMC that means lots of great times together… summer BBQs at the church and at Lintzford, church picnics, all age worship, holiday fun, football and generally time for each other. There are lots of dates to add to your diary, opportunities for fellowship.
Following Pentecost, Luke writes about the early church, that it is ‘devoted’ and we can naturally think that their devotion to God was about being devoted to prayer, and the apostle’s teaching and worship, to breaking of bread, and yes it was all these things. But Luke at the heart of his description of the church notes that they devoted themselves to ‘fellowship’. Following the pouring out of the Holy Spirit the various disciples of all ages and backgrounds devoted themselves to fellowship. Fellowship meaning a common sharing in life, the Greek word is koinonia. A sharing of life together in love, faith and encouragement.
Fellowship is a key aspect of a Christian life, there is a sense in which you cannot be a Christian alone, the Christian faith is not a solitary religion. Those who have tried and have pulled away from the fellowship of the church know that it rarely leads them closer to God.
For some this devotion to fellowship comes quite naturally, for the extroverts among us being with others and sharing in each other’s life is a true joy and a blessing, but for others the devotion to fellowship is more of a discipline. Indeed we are all different and have different inclinations, some find it easier than others to pray and focus upon God’s presence, others struggle with the discipline of reading the bible, and for some it is the discipline of fellowship that they find hardest. If that is you, you are not alone, but as with all the habits that form us as disciples, may I encourage you to continue to share in the fellowship. As the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 10:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another –
In a self-centred world, our devotion to one another in fellowship can be a powerful sign of God’s kingdom and profoundly counter cultural. As we go beyond sharing a burger or a sandwich from our picnic to sharing our lives together in a deeper way.
With every blessing,