Saturday, October 11, 2008

Loneliness V: Christians & Togetherness

is a key characteristic of the Christian community in the epistles in the New Testament where we read the pronoun allelon which means "one another."

Romans 12:16 calls us believers to "live in harmony with one another." and "have the same care for one another" in I Cor. 12:25, and we are to "bear one another's burdens" Gal. 6:2.

Recently I invited a friend to dinner. She's been beached in the downside tsunami hitting many hard workers. This single parent is a conscientious woman who's never been in this place before. One reason I've enjoyed our friendship through the years is my friend's upbeat faith in all circumstances. But she has sounded very serious lately. Writing this blog series on "loneliness" inspired me to alter my schedule to treat my friend to dinner.

She walked to my car with her shoulders slumped at a slow pace. Her beautiful smile was now gone; and the sadness in her face couldn't be masked. She wasn't hungry and didn't care where I decided on us going for our dinner. When we arrived at the restaurant, she decided on some desert. I got soup and a half sandwich. We sat at that table with my friend talking and talking and talking. I managed to pull off a few jokes that had her laughing and laughing. The waiter brought me a whole sandwich and I couldn't eat all of the food. After an hour my friend ate my food left on the plate. She ate several deserts. She had her appetite back in this "togetherness" healing place of our God. I had prayed the blessing that God would show up to bless us as we broke bread together.

Folks, after seeing my friend come to life from despair and depression in that simple meal that lasted 3 hours, I'm convinced we Christians have complicated Jesus Christ's plan of life out of it's effectiveness. My friend all but skipped to the door and turned as she went in the door with her wonderful smile. Oh, my.....togetherness, a little love, an ear to hear, a little good food eaten with a friend, and the presence of God heals.

There is strong Biblical evidence of the miracle God worked in my friend as we ate together. In one commentary there are 23 examples cited in the epistles. In Scripture repetition implies emphasis.

I hear person after person tell me how they don't need mentors or small groups. They are just fine "Me and Jesus." I try to tell them they've deviated from God's plan, but it seems most have to crash into a wall or fall off a cliff to comprehend this concept. God's call is One Another.

Many words that form the Greek root word: koinon are used to describe healthy Christian communities in the New Testament.

Koinos...adjective.that which is shared

Koinoneo... share or participate in

Koinoia...noun.sharing, fellowship, communion

"Christian koinonia is not just something spiritual; it has to be expressed in concrete ways. Believers are expected to "share what you have" (Heb 13:16; Rom.12:13; I Tim 6:18). The earliest community in Jerusalem was marked by a voluntary sharing of resources; "all who believed were together and had all things in common (hapanta kona) Acts 2:44."

"The church is thus a caring and sharing community, a life-sustaining fellowship, in which the members of the body of Christ receive their life from God,and comfort, encourage, and support one another." Scobie, Charles H. H., The Ways of Our God, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p.501-502.



sailorcross said...

Good Morning, Kay!!

So true, so true-every word so true!! That is particularly why I love my Small Group! Our church has grown very large over the last several years (from 60 to over 1000 member in 7 years). It's very easy to get lost in the crowd!

But, when I meet with my Small Group, see them outside of the group, I can feel the "togetherness" that Jesus wants us to have.

I'm so glad you followed the call to meet your friend's needs. Sometimes, there is resistance on the other person's part, but we must continue to accept God's call to another person that He loves.

If you have a chance, stop by and "Meet Mrs. Robertson" on warmharte.

Have a blessed day--looks to be a beautiful one here!


Chatty Kelly said...

Kay, as a stay-home mom I experienced loneliness when I began staying home 9 yrs ago. All my friends (at that time) were working. I was miserable. So I started a bible study for stay home moms like me. We started humbly at the kitchen table with 3 women. We grew. Nine yrs later we meet at a church (so many kids we needed more space!) and have been as large as 20 women, usually around 12.

Yes, God calls us to fellowship. Sometimes others reach out to us (like you to your friend). Sometimes God calls us to reach out (like me and my bible study). Sometimes, God desires us to rest in him alone. The key is to do the right thing at the right time.

I'm so glad to be here today. I lost your blog address and hadn't visited in a while. I'm found it and have bookmarked it so I won't miss you again.

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.