I asked the LORD: What would be good for me to post today? (and the LORD played the Five-Whys game with me.)
LORD: Why are you writing?
John: To promote interactions that bring us together with each other and you.
John: Interacting is an encouraging, and even essential, activity.
John: When we humbly share our real stories safely with each other we rebuild relationships.
John: Because “People long to belong” (Peter Block) and this is a great way to help that.
John: “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, The Message)
P.S. Please comment below for the community or email me privately by clicking reply.
John your blog reminds me of the verse. If we walk in the light as he is in a light we have fellowship with one another in the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin… we long to belong … I agree! I believe when we have fellowship God is accomplishing in that moment much more than we can think or imagine.
Thank you, Mina! Good fellowship spirit and words!
Just yesterday, someone else called what we do in our simple church style gatherings “fellowship.” I was a little put-off because in my church background the fellowship hall was where people gathered for punch and cookies after church. But, maybe that’s where the real fellowship took place after all.
The word “fellowship” found in the Bible verse you mentioned (1 John 1:7) is koinōnía (Greek: κοινωνία) and denotes participation toward a close bond. It expresses a two-sided relation. Simple style church is all about this. It is mutual without hierarchy.
These “Submit a Comment” section connections aid and abet our journey toward healthy “fellowship with one another.”
The 1 John 1:7 verse begins with God’s light. As God’s pure light shines on our humanity, our old-style self may want to withdraw and isolate into solitary safety. After all, we humans sometimes struggle with humans.
The 1 John 1:7 verse ends “and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is continually cleansing us of all sin (sin–or lack of love–brings shame, condemnation, punishment, isolation, and the severing of fellowship). Jesus frees us from all sin and debilitating shame. Now, we are loved.
Fear is on the run. The full and free fellowship is rising! Not by our might or power but by God’s Holy Spirit!
We learn who to be and how to belong! We joyously discover that this belonging-style fellowship and community enhances our being-ness. Be, Being, Belonging. This Love creates a longing to be and belong.
For further reflection: 1 John 1:7 in three translations:
New King James: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
The Message: “But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.”
Wuest Expanded: “But if within the sphere of the light we are habitually ordering our behavior as He himself is in the light, things in common and thus fellowship we [the believer and God] are having with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin.”
I think a more powerful reason to meet together than our felt needs about a desire for bonding is we were made to meet together. It is far too easy to deflect our felt needs and go lone ranger to focus only on ourselves. “Walking in the light” brings us to God’s created identity for us – members of one another in the singular body of Christ.
1 Cor. 12: 27 Now you ARE (identity) the (singular) body of Christ and individually members of it.
We have a supernatural connection to EVERY believer. We must act on that identity, not an alternative identity that has been around for 500 years and more.
1 Cor. 12: 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Well said, Tim!
Thank you for reminding us!
Giv’m Heaven, John
“I think a more powerful reason to meet together [as believers] than our felt needs about a desire for bonding is we were made to meet together. “—Tim Aagard
I read this again, Tim, for the “first” time. It is strikingly true:
“…we were made to meet together…”
I get concerned, in our day of perceived choices, that we think we have a choice about gathering. Yes, we do, because we can opt-in or -out.
But, No, we don’t, because of Oneness: We “…have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” (Ephesians 4:5–6, The Message)
Because Jesus Christ bought me and brought me in, “I am a debtor all…and eager to bring this Good News.” (Romans 1:14-15)
The Shma Yisrael: “Hear, O Israel, YHWH (singular, I AM) our Elohim (plural, note the -im ending as in the plural, “cherubim” —one cherub many cherubim) I AM, is ONE.”
Again: “Hear O Israel, YHWH, our Elohim, YHWH, is ONE!
We are one in the LORD. It is our deepest disposition and calling to live this out. Romans 7:22