19 September 2013

Fellowship: Defined

Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren't rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice.” ― Rick Warren

This is a quotation from 'The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?'; a book that members of my Corps fellowship are reading at the moment. Amazing, isn't it? This has really sparked something in me today...

The Greek word used in the New Testament is κοινωνία, usually translated as 'fellowship'. In Christianity it's a term used to describe the relationship of Christians to God and to other Christians. However, the Greek word could also apply to a business partnership, to the marriage relationship, to close bonding between friends, or between members of a community. Incidentally, the word in Latin is communio (from which we get the word 'communion', thus sharing in common).

All this made me took me back many decades; made me think about about the different gatherings of people I have encountered through the years. A huge range of different levels of acceptance and tolerance - some of these are definitely better at 'fellowship' than others! Some of these could do so much better. These are just a few I recalled today; these are in alphabetical order:

Bible Study/House Fellowships
Church/Corps meetings
Church/Corps social gatherings
Committees in the voluntary sector (a variety of these!)
Family get-togethers
Meeting old friends for coffee
SAFE Music and Drama School
Salvation Army Congresses and other large public meetings
Science Fiction club meetings
Science Fiction conventions
Scout camps and events
Social gatherings at work
Street Pastor duties
Theatre 'Friends' group

Much to ponder today.

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