Fellowship with Jesus
God…has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9, NIV)
Charity pro-ams raise millions of dollars every year. A pro-am is an event where one golf professional typically plays with four amateur golfers. They occur every Wednesday at nearly all tour events, and then others are scattered across the country (usually on a Monday) to raise funds for specific charities.
With Jesus, fellowship can feel distant, unknown, or even feel impossible at times, since he is not physically present.During the course of a tour season, we are required to attend a certain number of pro-am parties. The sponsors enjoy mingling with the pros and the pros accept it as part of the job. Not always, but sometimes, we are also required to attend a pro-am party for a Monday event.
As a natural introvert, the social aspect of a pro-am party has the capacity to zap the energy out of me. However, over the years I have learned that these evenings create fellowship that allows the sponsors, pros, and amateurs to share in our common interest around golf, to participate in conversations and enjoy one another, and to further contribute to the charity.
Gathering daily for fellowship was a common practice for our first century brothers and sisters of the faith. They learned together, ate together, and prayed together (Acts 2:42). Today, it seems, fellowship has come to mean many different things: a set time for Bible study, conversation over breakfast, coffee in the fellowship hall after Sunday service, sitting around a campfire, or a FaceTime chat.
The Greek word for fellowship, koinonia, in our scripture passage today has a wealth of meaning behind it. Playing golf with our friends is tangible fellowship because we see, hear, and experience one another. With Jesus, on the other hand, fellowship can feel distant, unknown, or even feel impossible at times, since he is not physically present.
Three words that describe koinonia are commonality, participation, and contribution. Fellowship with Jesus (and others) is possible when we engage in common experiences and interests. Jesus wept, he hurt, he loved, he slept, he ate, he laughed, he enjoyed, he prayed—alone and with other people. He spent time with the lost, the brokenhearted, and “the least of these.”
Fellowship that grows requires reciprocity and our participation: to participate in the knowledge of who Jesus is as the Son of God as well as in his sufferings. Reading and wrestling in God’s Word for ourselves (beyond Sunday church) deepens our knowledge of him. Walking into our own suffering of brokenness, loss, pain, fear, and betrayal opens our hearts to joy and resurrection life that can be experienced in meaningful ways today.
And lastly, fellowship with Jesus happens when we join him in contributing to the world around us. This will look different for you than it does for me because it is the outflow of the passion of our individual hearts. It may be sitting with a friend who is ill or has experienced a loss. Maybe you enjoy mentoring high school kids or volunteering at the local mission. Contribution may show up as a greeter on Sunday morning or entering the frontlines in the fight against human trafficking. The possibilities are abundant.
How will you spend time in fellowship with Jesus today?
August 17, 2017
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