Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Church Fellowship

I was given two topics as ideas to write about in a Reformed writers' group, so I thought I'd try to tackle this one:

"Write about social interactions within the Church laity. What does ideal fellowship look like?"

First I had to look up laity, because I'm stupid nerdy like that. Here it is:
1. the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.

This is a big topic. I'm no authority, no theologian in a trained sense, but it seems like one that I can at least touch on. (The other question given me is about Cultural Christianity v. Biblical Christianity, which is perhaps harder.)

Picture this: you are sitting in a pew, listening to the preacher, looking down and up, reading the Word, perhaps daydreaming from time to time. Your gaze flicks around the room, to the potted plant, to the girl's hair in front of you, to the dirt beneath your farm-girl fingernails. (Note to self: use a fingernail brush next time.) Yes, the message is good. Yes, the preacher is helpful.
But if there is no action on the part of the people to fellowship with one another, to step alongside and encourage, is there much impact?

Our family has had so many times of fellowship with the body. When we were moving in to our new home, boxes topsy-turvy around us, we had church friends help with the moving, bring us soup and rolls, and welcome us with open arms. We were even invited to someone's house for Thanksgiving, though we had only recently met them! They encouraged us in the Lord. Long will I remember that time with its singing, prayer, thanks giving, and the warm voice of their daughter saying, "I'm glad you're here."

We've had people help us after a tornado flattened our workshop. They moved boxes and cut trees vigorously, as well as supplied food, water, and tarps.

And not just warm and fuzzy things are to be modeled. There have been times we needed challenging. Times we've been touched by the strength of a person in pain even as we sought to strengthen them. Times we've seen hard work modeled and been ashamed at our own laxity. Times we've seen beauty, times we've seen laughter. Times we've been hugged, given a gift, given a Bible verse.

This is what the hands and feet of Christ on earth should look like.

And here are some Bible verses to consider (and I'm sure there are many more):
"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." - Acts 2:1

"So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed." - Acts 16:40

"For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. - Colossians 2:1-3

4 comments:

Diwakar said...

Hello Malissa. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the bog post. I am also blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you as well as know you and about your desire to serve the Lord. I am encouraged by your post on Church Fellowship and the quoting of the verses at the end of your post is very touching and moving. I am sorry to know that your Daddy is no more but your heavenly Daddy will never leave you and your family. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 38 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you come to Mumbai to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing ex perience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends.

Caleb Titus Arinaitwe Amanyire said...

This is was a humbling read Melissa. Thank you the exhortation.

Melissa M. said...

You're welcome, Caleb!

Melissa M. said...

Diwakar--thank you for your comment. I'm sorry, but I have to decline.