Fellowship is a word that we Southern Baptists throw around frequently. It always accompanies events where there will be food. If you know Southern Baptists at all, there will always been food involved in most anything we do. Goodness, you better watch yourself coming out of the parking lot on Sunday mornings as folks will nearly flatten you as they race to be the first one to the Mexican restaurant. We love us some good food.
As I began working on a new Bible study and reading Philippians 1, it struck me that Paul used the word “fellowship” as he spoke of remembering the church of Philippi in his prayers for their fellowship in the gospel. That word “fellowship” continued to leap off of the page at me. Did a chicken sacrifice it’s life in the fryer even back in A.D. 52 when Paul wrote this letter?
If you know anything about me by now, you will know that when a word jumps off the page at me I must complete a word study. Yep! I’m a geek like that. As I began to study “fellowship”, I learned that there is more to this concept than simply breaking bread.
Fellowship also means communion. This is a sharing in common, partaking together. Literally the word means sharing. So yes when we fellowship, we can share together by breaking bread. However, there is more to communion than simply chatting over the remainder of the chicken coup.
Fellowship – communion comes from the Latin word com-mun’. It means participation by all. This definitely makes Paul’s letter not only a remembrance of those who made up the church at Philippi, but also a command to children of God. Children at every time and every place in the history of creation are to partake together, to share, in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So why is it that we race to the nearest restaurant with mighty fervency, but we don’t share the good news of Jesus Christ with that same passion? It seems that we have missed the true meaning of fellowship. While the joy found in a Sunday lunch of cheese dip and enchiladas are a celebration to our taste buds and our tummies, our true joy should come from fellowship in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only that fellowship can save your life.