Grace and peace to you.
In my devotional 31 Ways to be A “One Another” Christian: Loving Others with the Love of Jesus, today’s Scripture is from 1 John 1:7 — “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
The word “fellowship” means more than coming to church, or the coffee-and-doughnut time after church. Fellowship has in its roots the concepts of “joint ownership”, “partnership”, “joint contribution”. One author writes, “Christian fellowship is not the sentimental and superficial attachment of a random collection of individuals, but the profoundly mutual relationship of those who remain ‘in Christ,’ and therefore belong to each other.” It is this “belonging to each other” that is the difference from merely being a church to living as the Body of Christ.
The effects of the lock-down have been devastating. Small businesses are closed, some will never reopen. Our economy has been decimated. Isolation has led to depression and other mental health issues, as well as an increase in alcohol and drug abuse. I officiated a funeral service yesterday and only ten people could attend. Imagine having to bury a loved one but not be able to share that experience with your closest friends and loved ones. Family members had to distance themselves and wear masks while saying good-bye to their mom.
If there is one thing we have learned in the past 3 months it is this: fellowship is vital to our walk with the Lord. We miss one another. We were not created to worship the Lord alone. God created His church to live in community, sharing our gifts and resources, and building up one another with encouragement and the love of Jesus. Zoom is an adequate tool for online meetings, but it is not adequate for fellowship.
Your servant in Christ