Imagine you have a pretty normal life, living like most of the other people around you with routines and some basic beliefs about the world. Then one day everything changes in a way that forces you to rethink how you interact with everyone around you.
No, I’m not talking about Coronavirus. I’m talking about the first century in Israel. There was a band of people who became known as followers of “The Way” who faced a lot of the same feelings we are facing. Jesus had come, lived, taught, died and resurrected. He gave some new paradigms that changed everything. These people believed him – and began trying to figure out how to live in an entirely new reality that was calling them to live in an entirely different way.
What can we learn right now from this radical community of people? Our realities are changing in real ways. So this week in the Daily Dose we’re exploring how to live life together – in light of five foundational ways this early crew of Jesus-followers lived.
We find these five ways in the first four chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. They devoted themselves to these core activities. We’ll cover them in this order:
- Teaching & Learning
- Sharing Possessions (#ActionWednesday!)
- Eating – Symbolically & Communally
Today start with a quick look at the practice known as “fellowship.”
They may not have been calling it “fellowship” but scientists have done a lot of work on this concept over the past two decades. They’ve proven and deepened what we all knew: we need each other. Our mental health depends on fellowship. Our physical health is impacted by fellowship. Our spiritual health is feeble without fellowship.
Here’s the essence of fellowship: being together & being known. It takes on many forms as we live our lives, but it cannot be done in isolation. So that brings us to the question: In times when we are forced away from one another physically, how do we find real fellowship?
The key is found in this: they devoted themselves.
There are plenty of resources out there with ideas for how to be in community right now – you can find those with a quick google search or social media scroll. But here’s what I’m not hearing much of: a call to commitment. In my family’s life it’s been shockingly easy to slip out of regular touch with friends as we’ve turned inward. Some of our family time has been beautiful and much needed. But I fear we have too easily swung the pendulum away from the kind of “fellowship” we need – and our friends need it too.
At the end of the day the most important element might just be the commitment – the devotion – to being together in meaningful ways. So this week let’s recommit to living in fellowship – supporting one another in all the ways that first band of friends did in times that surely felt anything but normal.
Start right now by texting or calling a few folks with whom you know you should be in “fellowship” but have lost real connection. Make a plan to start connecting regularly. We’ll give you four more ways – one each day this week – to help you turn fellowship back into a reality. We know we’ll all be better for it.
Grace and Peace,