— IS A FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS IN JESUS CHRIST
The Lenten and Easter season is a very reflective time of the year. We discipline and deny ourselves to focus on the great love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
We continue our reflections on the church and its purpose and practices by exploring fellowship. For many people, fellowship is conversation over a cup of coffee after morning worship. It is true, that fellowship can start there. But when the church is genuinely functioning as a fellowship of friends in Jesus Christ, there is a definite impact on the lives of people both in a congregation and outside of it.
In the context of Acts 2:38-47 we read, where those that responded “to the call of the Lord devoted themselves to the apostle‘ s teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The word fellowship in the Greek (kiononia) means participation or share. Thus they met together, participated in and shared times of prayer, Scriptural study, food, encouragement, help, support, etc. with one another in one to one relationships or small groups, rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.
In Colossians 3:16 one reads “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach & admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
I want to focus on two thoughts in this previous verse and tie them together with fellowship. I trust & pray that in the Lenten season of this church year; we may let the Word of Christ Jesus through the familiar scriptures about His death and resurrection, who sacrificed His life on the Cross of Calvary for our salvation and all mankind, dwell more richly in our hearts. I pray that as we sing the special songs & hymns about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus with rich gratitude in our hearts; we will learn more and more how to live in genuine thanksgiving for the faith we share with other believers in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. He came to set us free from sin to know the love, joy, peace and hope of God the Heavenly Father. May the genuine gladness of God through trust in Jesus Christ by the power of Holy Spirit be in us and evident among us as we gather with Christian friends in worship through out the Lenten and Easter Season to the GLORY OF GOD!
Striving to Serve,
-Pastor Perry DeGroot