Jul. 26, 2020
The second characteristic of the post Pentecost church was devotion to “the Fellowship.” This was not simply being together here and there, attending some meetings or programs together. It was not simply the church one is a member of or attends worship at. Fellowship meant doing life in community - not community as part of life, but life defined by and in community with the other sisters and brothers following Jesus; they shared life – what was a blessing or challenge for one became blessing and challenge for all. They ate together and shared time in each other’s homes (Acts 2:46) When we think of “our community,” most of us probably think in geographic terms, like the city of Butler, or Butler/Center township, or maybe even Butler county. The early church understood community differently – community was the group of common minded people whose lives were defined by faith in and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord. “The fellowship” referred to community in this sense – the group of people defined by the story of Jesus in every aspect of their lives. In Romans 12, Paul paints a picture of what life in that kind of community looks like. It’s a countercultural community – one that is defined by devotion and honor and humility and spiritual fervor, not what’s in it for me or ending relationships when I get bored with them or pride or self-sufficiency. A devotion to “the fellowship” connects one with a group of people who allow this Jesus way of community to define them. And that connection becomes a primary resource for standing strong because we’re reminded every time the community gathers that we do not stand alone.
As you read the following passages, pay attention to the importance of being connected to others for living as God's people.
MONDAY (07/27): Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
TUESDAY (07/28): Ruth 1:1-17
WEDNESDAY (07/29): John 15:9-17
THURSDAY (07/30): Romans 16:1-16
To prepare for our next worship times, read the following texts. As you read, note the importance of regular communion for standing strong as Jesus followers.
FRIDAY (07/31): Acts 2:42-47
SATURDAY (08/01): John 6:48-59
SUNDAY (08/02): 1 Corinthians 11:23-30