As we read the Bible we observe believers gathering together for many reasons. They gathered for worship, to minister to one another and at times purely for fellowship. Spending time in fellowship with one another provides the opportunity for growth in relationships. Those who had come to faith in Christ practiced fellowship. “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42) Fellowship was later described with these amazing words, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) Francis Schaeffer once wrote: “Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful-Christian community is the final apologetic.”
Sometimes when we come together we question one another. When Jesus was having a meal with Lazarus, family and friends, Mary poured an expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. “And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” (John 12:3) The question that was raised by Judas Iscariot, and other disciples (according to Matthew 26:8), was, “‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’” (John 12:5) The Lord defended Mary’s actions as an anointing for his burial. She was devoted to Jesus.
Fellowship needs to keep the focus on Jesus. When we fellowship with one another at the communion table our focus will be on Him. We will see the bread and the cup and remember Jesus.
We remember his servanthood. As the evening meal was being served, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:3-4) Remembering how Jesus served inspires me to serve others.
We remember his sacrifice. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 1:2) Remembering that Jesus took the punishment for my sins makes me want to forgive others. It makes we want to share the message of God’s forgiveness with the world.
We remember his love “‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’” (John 15:13) Remembering God’s love for us helps us to love one another.
Remembering our need for forgiveness, and God’s atoning love will help us steer away from the darkness of sin. It will place us in true fellowship with God and with one another. “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.” (I John 1:6-7) Let’s walk in the light so that we might truly walk with one another! Let’s experience fellowship with one another and with Jesus!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.