Christian fellowship is a beautiful thing! In my estimation, it is the next best thing to heaven. The word “fellowship” has to do with things in common (e.g., as Christians we have a common salvation, a common Savior, a common destination, common goals in life, etc.) In this lesson, let’s be reminded of the importance of building and treasuring our friendships with one another.
I came across a small verse in the introduction of the book of Romans that really impressed upon me Paul’s view of fellowship. Brother Paul told the Christians in Rome that he longed to come and visit them. In verse 12 he told them one of the reasons why: “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” The mutually beneficial relationship between Christians filled Paul with a deep longing for more. That’s fellowship!
Let us liken ourselves to roses, and our congregation (or our circle of Christian friends) to a rose garden. God, the Master Gardener, plants His roses where they will best thrive, where they will add the most beauty, and where they will receive the optimal care that they need. The experienced gardener also protects her roses. She knows what each plant needs, and she’s ready to tackle those harmful pests and diseases. What about the way we tend our Christian families? Don’t we all need special care at different times in our lives? We need protection from the storms that God allows, and even the strongest Christian needs careful maintenance. Our garden of roses thrives in the light, love, and protection that comes from Christian fellowship.
In the book Woman To Woman, author Melissa Lester says this about our Christian fellowship: “God never intended for the Christian walk to be a life of solitude. He urges us to join hands, to open our hearts, and to enjoy the journey together.” What did wise Solomon say about fellowship in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10? “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
We can be a glorious bouquet for our heavenly Father to enjoy! God gave us the blessing of fellowship. Let’s not ever take it for granted. Sure, we may let each other down now and then, but we don’t have to stay down. As imperfect roses in God’s garden, we all have some thorns. But through fellowship, we file away the sharp points and we overlook what’s left. Someday we will be perfected and we will stand together around God’s royal throne – praising and adoring the one who has never let us down. But for now, there’s sweet fellowship: a taste of what’s to come.
By Jennifer Jensen
Jennifer and her husband, Ron, live in the foothills of the California Sierra Nevadas and attend the Angels Camp church of Christ. Ron serves as the “back up” preacher, a teacher, and the regular song leader. Jennifer teaches kids of all ages, as well as Ladies’ Bible classes. She is a keeper at home and home schools their two daughters.