Some call it fellowship, others simply a relationship and I’ve chosen the name partnering in life. Neither one, however, can fully reflect the meaning of the Greek κοινωνία (koinonia) better than the passage from Acts 2:42-47.
Today we tend to take relationships for granted. The Internet offers them at practically no cost, and so does the local school, sports club… oh, yes – even the church. So far – nothing wrong. Sadly enough, the fragrance of the koinonia seems to have faded away. Instead of being like a fresh Spring bloom, it’s more like a frozen vegetable which has then been microwaved – you wouldn’t know it smells like something if it weren’t for the big fat colored label on the package that tricks your mind into believing it does. We’re either really dumb fools or really lazy and indifferent to our own lives.
We like having partners in life as long as they don’t require much of us. As long as they don’t disturb out comfortable and well planned and organized living. It seems to me that the fancier mobile phones one can buy, the less we care about sincerely maintaining our relationships. Perhaps this would be quite a shock to Johann Philipp Reis (whom I credit as the inventor of the telephone). Nevertheless, my point is – the things that ought to draw us closer to each other seem to actually scatter us apart.
Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for this town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:11-16, NIV)
If there’s one thing I wish God would keep away from our free will it’d be selective reading. In the context of human behavior it seems to be that part of us that ignores all that causes discomfort or even change. It’s the stuff that’s most of the time is essential, yet we chose to not regard it as such. It’s what makes us almost Christians in the most important of times.For the past few weeks the words of Jesus from Matthew 10 can’t get out of my head. They’re like a mosquito bite – you’ve just thought it’s dealt with and then you accidentally touch it… There it goes again – itches for ages. I figured I must investigate deeper the question of Why do Christians seem to never give up trying to get people into heaven? read more
One of the biggest problems before the Christian faith today is that all Christians claim they believe in God, but not all of them live according to their own claims. In other words, many of us daily call ourselves Christians, but far too many of us don’t live like Christians.
Let’s look at the relationship between a child and his or her parents as an analogue of ours with God. When a child truly trusts his or her parents, he or she waits patiently and faith till their promises come true. When mummy and daddy promise their son a new bicycle he doesn’t immediately run out, seeking for ways to buy it himself earlier than it’s promised to him. Where there is trust in a relationship between two sides, there is also patience and faith.
Between many believers and God, however, the trust is little… so, naturally, many Christians quickly run out of patience and lose faith. God, on the other hand, doesn’t cease caring for us, but how is it possible to feel Him caring if all the time we’re trying to solve our problems on our own and pay more attention to them than we do to God? read more
The preacher finished his sermon and before closing the service asked the people before him “Do you want to be with Jesus right now? – Raise your hand if you are.” The multitude raise their hands, except for one man at the back row. The preacher was slightly concerned, so he decided he’d repeat the question. The result was the same. Odd, he thought, maybe the man didn’t hear the question. So he asked a third time, even louder – Do you want to be with Jesus right now? That didn’t do it either.
So after the service was finished he struggled through the crowd to find the man who didn’t raise his hand and ask him what was stopping him from wanting to be with Jesus. When he finally asked, the reply was “Oh, I do want to be with Jesus! But I don’t want to go there right now, I quite like it out here.”
It’s an example I recently heard in a sermon and it bewildered me. So I took a note of it in my mind and gave it some further thought in the days after that. Today, as I think about it again it scares me – because it’s so true. read more
They (the believers) devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs wede done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 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 2:42-47, NIV
The book of Acts is one of the books that come closest to my heart. Probably because the Old Testament is a bit farther from my personal cultural experience and Revelation simply has too many variables when it comes to interpreting its meaning. Acts, however, speaks at a level I seem to understand easier. Well, anyways. These few verses have been on my mind lately because a few weeks back I was sitting at church on a Sunday, I heard an announcement of a conference and suddenly I thought – It appears that only at conferences we come close to living as it’s described in the quote above. read more