What we have that the world longs for

In the last post we looked at the first of the four things mentioned in Acts 2:42, namely the apostles' doctrine.

Fellowship The second of these is fellowship.  The Greek word koinonia has connotations of intimacy, of community, of communication.  What does it look like in the context of simple church?  It means a willingness for transparency and vulnerability; it means knowing each other well enough that you can tell if there's a problem in someone's life without their needing to say a word; it means letting down the masks; it means laughing with those who laugh and weeping with those who weep. Its a group of people who know each others' weaknesses and love one another anyway!

The world is longing for this.  Most people, especially after they have entered the workforce, go to work in the morning, come home and watch television in the evenings. On the weekends, they struggle to catch up with all that needs doing.   Their lives are consumed with work and their kids' activities.  They are often lonely, and feel stressed because they have no one with whom to share the things going on in their lives.  (Statistics show that sharing life with a friend is often as effective as seeing a counselor.)

Fellowship isn't limited to meetings.  It's a community lifestyle

Do we have real fellowship when we come together?

7 thoughts on “What we have that the world longs for”

  1. This is true Felicity. I try to keep track of advertising slogans that I think reveal the spiritual needs of people. Madison Avenue recognizes these wants and appeals to them by seeming to promise that their products will satisfy these desires.
    Also, I think koinonia also implies mission. I don;t have a reference at hand, but I believe it also means united for a common purpose, as in a business dealing. For Christians, of course, this means that we come together to accomplish God’s mission to the world and not just to satisfy our own wants and desires.

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  2. Excellent thoughts, Dan. I like what you say about being united for mission. It produces communitas (to use an Alan Hirsch term), which is deeper than community. It’s what a band of soldiers experiences on the battle field. For example, my father was a prisoner of war in Burma for 3 years during WW2. For the rest of his life, his closest friends were those who were with him during that time.

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  3. Hi Felicity
    David and I were discussing this only recently and I comment on my time spent in Southern Italy. I lived there 15yrs and although the community I lived in was small and impoverished it was ‘connected’ in more ways than any western country I have lived in! Each month was a festival of true community activities such as bottling tomatoes, washing sheep wool mattresses in the sun. Picking olives and helping the fishermen drag their boats up the beach. Each day was a community of men and women sharing daily tasks and sitting together knitting, sewing; playing; laughing. Old and young together….the glue that held together the communality was family; friendship;trust;respect and the greatest of all LOVE. Industrialisation has torn apart communities with the lure of ‘get rich, be happy’ lies!
    Once you have experienced Koinonia, there is no better way!
    PS: Love to you guys, we are still praying re India! đŸ™‚
    Margie & David. Perth WA.

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  4. Margie
    You are so right. What a beautiful picture of community. Other cultures live community in a way that many of us in the West have forgotten. When we lived in the UK, for a long time we had that kind of community too, although my understanding is that more recently, it has mostly disappeared.

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  5. Here are some sample advertisements that touch on people’s spiritual wants and needs:
    “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.” — Subaru
    “Life is a lease. Negotiate well.” — Irving Hughes.
    “Something to believe in.” — US Cellular
    “Go. There’s nothing stopping you.” — Southwest Airlines
    “How do you spread love?” — Hellman’s mayonnaise
    “At least she knows one thing won’t let her down.” — Secret deoderant
    “Find yourself at Lakeland College.” — Lakeland College
    “Chase what matters” — Chase Bank credit card
    “Stay you.” — Holiday Inn
    Security. Community. Significance. Identity. Others?

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