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The Secret of Koinonia // by Christian Thompson

By March 12, 2016Discovering Me, News

Do you feel connected with those around you?

The world is filled with all types of division and dissension. Social media feeds are filled with arguments of what lives matter most, what political parties are most sensible – even celebrities are fighting against one another! We are signing up to join teams led by people we don’t know to support an argument that never should have continued in the first place. In the end, what are we going to get out of all of this? More division.

Unfortunately, we have a similar problem among Christians. We stereotype denominations and exclude the ones we don’t like, all because of a difference in opinion. What kind of body of Christ can function all broken up into exclusive groups? Should only the hands hang out together, go to crusades together, and see signs and wonders done? How would they even celebrate this wonderful act of God if the only ones included in the celebration were the ones who were there?

What about the ears? They are certainly valuable. They are able to receive clear words from the Almighty God. But what can they do with this information without the mouth or the hands or the feet? Absolutely nothing.

It is not biblical to be so divided.

Again, it is not biblical to be so divided. Christians should spend time with one another in praise of the things we do believe. What does it matter if one sings hymns and the other sings gospel? Why argue the difference between what Heaven might be like? I promise you, when we get there we’ll all be so dumbfounded about what it’s really like that we won’t have a need to comment on it.

In Philippians 4 (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible) Paul take the time in the middle of his letter to point out a disjunction between Euodia and Syntyche. These two women were sisters in Christ who had a disagreement. Whatever the argument was, Paul urged them to let go of it, because they “belong to the Lord” (verse 2). These women of God were arguing and it was effecting their witness. The same happens to us.

So how do we come together? We can’t just let go of our differences, can we?

In the book of Acts, we see the Christian Church blossoming into its own. There is a pattern of prayer meets, miraculous acts, and bearing witness. But there is also a very clear repetition of what is called “koinonia”. This is a Greek word that means coming together. It was originally used secularly to refer to having a meal with the gods. But it is used several times in Acts to describe how the Acts Church regarded one another. They spent time together. They enjoyed each other’s company. They shared in love and grace.

“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44-47

“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had…” Acts 4:32

“There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Acts 4:34

 

All of this is to say, join with one another. Choose community over competition. Spread love over spite. Walk in true grace, understanding that we are all human and we all mess up. We can only bear good witness to the world when we are first a united front, supporting one another with love and grace rather than by tearing one another down and excluding based on preference. We are sisters. Let’s love one another.
Featured image by Kelsey from She In The Making

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