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Community Part 3

The disciples had everything in common. They were in fellowship together. Fellowship is a weird word. Think about the passage with me for a minute – when we talk about having all things in common, that doesn’t mean that members of the early church could walk into Peter’s house and say, “Hey the Lord has need of your television. Give it to me because we have all things in common.” No. I don’t think that’s exactly what this means. I think they had something in common that tied everything together. What was that? That was Jesus. Of course, this is the easy answer, but this is what pulled them together. This is what held the early church together.

Paul, the apostle, begins to develop the concept of fellowship with regard to the Lord’s Supper. The idea of fellowship, having things in common, can be translated in many different ways. For example, the participating in, the sharing in, or being together. The idea that something holds us together, that we participate in something, that we are in fellowship the very thing we have in common is clear in Paul’s writing. In 1 Corinthians chapter 10:16 Paul states, Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks, a participation, a sharing in, a fellowship in the blood of Christ. Is not the bread we break, a participation, a sharing in the body of Christ because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake in one loaf. What pulls us into oneness? This participation, this sharing in Christ death and resurrection. The apostle John loves this word fellowship and uses it to glue his letters together. In 1 John 1:7 John says: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship. We have a participation with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all our sin.”

If we walk with Jesus, we have a relationship with each other. We share in his journey. Walking together is a togetherness journey towards Jesus and with Jesus. In the same passage John says, we proclaim to you, being the apostles, what we have seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. Knowing Jesus allows us all to have relationship where there was no relationship – so that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with the father and his son Jesus Christ we write this to make our joy complete. John is saying, we have fellowship with Jesus, and we are telling you about Jesus so that the barrier between you and us, between God and you can be broken. We can journey together with Jesus who makes all things right. The resurrection is what makes us community together, so there has to be a response to this.

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