Encounter: Read the first seven verses of 1 John chapter 1. As you read these verses, think about your relationships with your friends, family members, church family and God. When you have fellowship with any of them what does that mean to you?
The Greek word koinonia is described as having a rich, robust and rigorous meaning to have in common, to share a common life. We define this as having fellowship. Do we think of having fellowship with someone in a way as to sharing a common life? In today’s rush around culture, fellowship has become more of a cursory sharing of time. What if we were to slow down and take a genuine interest in the lives of those around us? Would our sharing of a common life become robust, rich, and rigorous?
In the book of Genesis chapter three verse eight, the writer describes how deep the relationship was between God and Adam and Eve. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,…” Adam and Eve had developed such a relationship with God, that they could tell by sound when He was present in the garden. Can you imagine what it would have been for Adam and Eve when they could no longer hear God walking with them?
The Holy Spirit calls us into a relationship with God and with others. It is a vertical and horizontal connection through the Holy Spirit. In every moment and every encounter, the Holy Spirit is trying to connect us more deeply with God and with one another. Those who participate in Life Groups, study groups and Sunday School have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as it helps us to overcome our fears to share our lives with one another on a more deeper level than just having a common belief in our triune God. This safe space allows us to share our lives, grow in love, and develop a rich, robust, and rigorous relationship.
Reflect: Take some time and reflect on how deep your relationships are. Do you recognize the footsteps of those you live with, work with, and share time with? Could you recognize their voices with blinds over your eyes? When we open the eyes and ears of our hearts and souls, the footsteps and voices become more familiar.
Spiritual Practice: Sit down in a room where all the traffic of your home takes place. Close your eyes and open your hands facing upward, but resting on your legs. Take a couple of deep breaths and see if you can recognize the sounds in your living space. Take note of what you heard and how it moved within you. Write it down in your journal. Do this a few times during the week and add in some scripture reading. Mix it up read scripture before and try reading after. Note in your journal the experience.
Gather: In your groups, try the above spiritual practice to see what the Spirit is revealing to you. Can you hear more clearly? If you are willing to share, tell of your experience when you tried the above practice at home or work. Ask yourself if your time together is producing a rich, robust, and rigorous sharing of a common life in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. If it is not, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is needed in order to have such a deep sharing of a common life.