Fellowship – Lost in Translation?

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May 5, 2017

          What do you think about when you hear the word “fellowship?” Do you envision a church hall filled with groups of people sharing small talk? Does it occur only on a Sunday? Do you understand what fellowship means? Do you wonder if it is something only church people do?


In the New Testament, Jesus prayed that His disciples would be unified. The book of Acts reveals the fruit of relationship between the disciples and Christ. His disciples (now apostles) carried on His work in His Name, and in His power. The disciples did become unified. The believers did not simply gather for social time. They gathered to support one another in prayer, to study, and to share the Eucharist -remembering always what Jesus had done for them.  Acts 2:42 says: “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship in the breaking of the bread and to prayer.”


Let’s take a little closer look at this verse. The original Greek New Testament text features the word “koinonia” to describe the relationship between the believers. Many English bibles translate this word simply as: “fellowship.” As you can imagine, tons of meaning are lost in translation. As we unpack the word “koinonia” we begin to discover the depth of not simply the word but, the relationship that God wants to have with us and each other.  Koinonia means: “interactive relationship between God and believers.” “active participation in Christian community.” Common in these definitions is “action.” A new relationship with God begins as Jesus moves towards us in love. He loves us so much and declared it by going to the Cross.  This is sacrificial action. Our relationships with each other mirror our relationship with Jesus. They begin with and are fostered by action -we move towards one another sharing our common faith in Jesus.


Have you experienced true fellowship with Jesus? Are you a part of community that lives out true fellowship? What action could you take to help foster true fellowship in your community?


In the Love of Jesus,