This month I am preaching every Sunday at the Wellandport Church in Wainfleet, Ontario, Canada. Additionally, I’m conducting a weekend meeting that concludes today. And teaching the adult class for their VBS later in July.
We’ve missed coming to Canada for the past two summers. We love the area. The cooler temperatures are a nice respite from the hot summers of Texas and Florida. But most of all we love the warm fellowship of these brethren.
Thursday night after concluding a lesson on the topic, “Does God Exist?” the Wellandport preacher, Mike Stephens, who also serves as one of the Shepherds, asked the song leader to close with the A. W. Dicus song, “Our God–He is Alive.”
The 50+ people including visitors from area churches, as well as the community “raised the roof.” Young and old alike were singing their hearts out. As I looked at a teenage girl with a smile on her face, singing with such gusto, I was reminded of the joy of Christian fellowship.
Afterward, people stayed around a long time. Shaking hands. Hugging. Conversing. Sharing their lives with each other. Little children were playing in the grass around the building. Running. Laughing. Enjoying themselves. It reminded me of bygone days when I was a kid. When everyone wasn’t in a hurry to get home. When the pace was slower. And Christians embraced and enjoyed their time of fellowship together.
While the basis of Christian fellowship is firmly founded in our relationship with the Lord, it issues itself in a familial affinity for our church family. A hallmark of the first-century Christians was togetherness. Their commonality in Christ produced a people who genuinely cared for one another. Spent time together. And ministered to one another in need (Ax. 2:42-47).
When the Psalmist penned, “I was glad when they said to me ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’” (Ps. 122:1), he was speaking of worshiping God. However, there ought to be the gladness of being with fellow Believers. A feeling of felicity. And a joyful fellowship. Such a spirit produces unity, harmony, and loving service.
Corrie Ten Boom correctly warned. “When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles.” We can’t go to heaven alone. We need each other. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was right when he wrote, “The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”
Today Norma Jean and I will be blessed to share in the joy of Christian fellowship. I sincerely hope and pray that wherever you are, you, too, can experience the same joy.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman