This week Norma Jean and I are in Ontario Canada, where I’m preaching in a meeting for the Wellandport church. Being in Canada reminds me of a story told by Don Graham.
Linda, a young woman, was traveling alone up the rutted and rugged highway from Alberta to the Yukon. Linda didn’t know you don’t travel to Whitehorse alone in a rundown Honda Civic, so she set off where only four-wheel drives normally venture.
The first evening she found a room in the mountains near a summit and asked for a 5 A.M. wake up call so she could get an early start. She couldn’t understand why the clerk looked surprised at that request, but as she awoke to early morning fog shrouding the mountain tops, she understood. Not wanting to look foolish, she got up and went to breakfast. Two truckers invited Linda to join them, and since the place was so small, she felt obliged.
“Where are you headed?” one of the truckers asked.
“In that little Civic? No way! This pass is dangerous in weather like this.”
“Well, I’m determined to try,” was Linda’s gutsy response.
“Then I guess we’re just going to have to hug you,” the trucker suggested.
Linda drew back. “There’s no way I’m going to let you touch me!”
“Not like THAT!” the truckers chuckled. “We’ll put one truck in front of you and one in the rear. That way, we’ll get you through the mountains.”
All that foggy morning Linda followed the two red dots in front of her and had the reassurance of a big escort behind as they made their way safely through the mountains.
“Caught in the fog in our dangerous passage through life,” Don observed, “we need to be “hugged.” With fellow Christians who know the way and can lead safely ahead of us, and with others behind, gently encouraging us along, we, too, can pass safely.”
Our word of the week is fellowship.
Fellowship is community. Communion. And comradeship. The word, as used in the Bible. speaks to our divine association with God. And with each other. It is joint-participation. Partnership. And commonality in Christ.
The Bible addresses the importance of fellowship in our Christian walk. Luke says the Jerusalem Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Ac. 2:42, ESV).
Various English words are used to translate the Greek word “koinonia.” They give us insight and a clearer understanding of what it means to enjoy fellowship in the Christian community.
Fellowship is contributing to the needs of the saints. (Rom 12:13)
Fellowship is practicing hospitality (Ac 2:46).
Fellowship is sharing your faith (Phile 6)
Fellowship is mutual participation during the Communion service as minds collectively focus on Christ death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor 10:16-17)
Fellowship is enjoying divine association with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:9; 2 Cor 13:14)
Fellowship is walking together in the light of the Lord and receiving cleansing from our sins (1 John 1:7)
Fellowship is weeping with those that weep; and rejoicing with those that rejoice (Rom 12:15).
Fellowship is sharing in the suffering of Christ together, while knowing we will be partakers together of His glory (1 Pet 5:1).
Fellowship is “hugging” one another through life’s fog and its treacherous spiritual journey.
Fellowship is coming to a new church like Wellandport. Meeting brethren for the first time. Yet sharing a common bond in Christ. Receiving “the right hand of fellowship.” And welcomed as a partner in the gospel.
The church in Wellandport is small. About 50 in number. But large in love. Great in faith. Huge in hope. And overflowing in their fellowship.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve. To share. And to participate in the fellowship of the gospel this week.
May God bless their Family. And the many communities of Christians scattered around the world who may be small in number but strong in fellowship.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman