by Pastor Bryan Knight
The month of March seems to usher in our early expectations of spring and summer. We begin to look forward to our vacations, traveling, visiting family and fellowship! Those of us who experience “cabin fever” of the winter we are excited to get back outside with family, friends and our community. The City of Beckley has done an outstanding job planning events nearly every weekend. There are numerous opportunities to take advantage of fellowship. But what does that word mean for a Christian? What’s the biblical view of “fellowship” and how are we to interact with those outside of this “fellowship”?
According to the NASB the first time we see a Hebrew word for “fellowship” is Psalm 55:14, “We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng.” David is writing about someone who has turned against him. Not a stranger, not an enemy, David has experienced deceit from someone he had fellowship with. David refers to this person as a friend, companion, a man his equal. This is obviously a heartbreaking experience for David or anyone else who may have experienced this type of destruction, but the focus here is on the “fellowship” term. It’s סוֹד/cowd—council, assembly, circle of friends. There is also a meaning of intimacy. It’s rooted meaning is in the word yacad, which refers to the laying of a foundation. It’s the idea of building our relationships on a firm foundation.
We then see our first New Testament use in Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” This Koine Greek word is κοινωνία/koinōnia—fellowship, association, communion. This is obviously connected to the birth of the church. The early church here is exercising absolute “fellowship”, teaching/learning, breaking bread, and prayer. “Christian fellowship, then, is the mutually beneficial relationship between Christians, who can’t have the identical relationship with those outside the faith.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-fellowship.html)
With March being around the corner and the Spring plans are being made, be on guard with where and with whom you fellowship. The world system belongs to Satan, but the Universal Church belongs to God. Seek out your brothers and sisters in Christ across our communities, state, country and world. Rejoice and fellowship together. Remind each other of that common shared unity, for we are all partakers of the Divine, “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)