The Holiday Season has begun! And that means, of course, lots of parties, celebrations, and all around merriment! This Bellringer is full of fun holiday fellowship opportunities. Read this Bellringer carefully and mark your calendar for all of the joyful celebrations. The Holidays are not the only time that we have fellowship opportunities as a church. Most months there are opportunities to simply get together and have fun. So, why do we do that? Isn’t fellowship some kind of distraction from our real work of worshipping God, serving those in need, and growing in our faith? At best, isn’t it some kind of extra, the icing on the cake? I would argue that it is not. Rather, fellowship is central to who we are.
At the very least, fellowship is the glue that holds things together. The relationships built while chatting during a meal or laughing together during a silly activity are critical to the rest of the work we do. You do not get to know someone very well while sitting next to them in a pew, and yet those relationships formed in fellowship enhance our ability to worship, serve, and grow in faith. Over that meal, you might find out someone has that particular skill that your ministry has been seeking, a new idea might emerge to improve a ministry, or a conversation might be the seeds of a new ministry sprouting.
But I would argue that it goes even deeper than that. Fellowship isn’t just good because it supports other ministry. Fellowship is good in its own right. We need a Theology of Fellowship that reminds us that Jesus called us into friendship with him and with each other. Friendship entails being together not only while working together, but while celebrating and relaxing. Fellowship is about deepening relationship. And for us, a people who believe in the Holy Trinity, who believe that the core of the one God is a relationship among these three persons of the Trinity, relationship is central to our faith. In Genesis 1, we learn that we were made in God’s image. What God’s image means is something that people of faith have been wrestling with for thousands of years. Since God is Trinity, maybe that image is about relationship with others. God is loving relationship in God’s very being and we who are made in God’s image must tend to loving relationships as well. I invite you to join us in the many fellowship activities this month.