I think fellowship with other Christians is something the Lord really wants for us. It mimics the Trinity, the love and fellowship within the 3 persons of the godhead. We sharpen one another, and we support one another. God uses us in each other’s lives.
Recently, a friend lost a child. She was someone I knew, not very well, when I lived in Virginia. We are friends on Facebook, but we don’t share personally with one another. Still, her posting about her loss moved me and it inspired me. I was impressed with her faith, and I was filled with compassion. I wrote her a little note.
It occurred to me that Facebook does offer us fellowship opportunities that are different from being in a church or a group, one-on-one, face to face, but at the same time, it’s fellowship, encouragement, prayers and blessings. It’s clear to me that God has used my Facebook friends to fellowship with me over the past years in so many ways, not the least of which being encouragement and prayer.
I Thessalonians 3:6-8
6 But now Timothy has come to us y from you and brought us good news about your faith and love and reported that you always have good memories of us, wanting to see us, as we also want to see you. 7 Therefore, •brothers, in all our distress and persecution, we were encouraged about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
Clearly a face to face fellowship was something Paul really longed for. But at the same time, his letter stood in the place of that face to face fellowship. Plus, it wasn’t just fellowship with the Thessalonians that Paul’s letter blessed, it was circulated throughout the churches. It was circulated throughout history, and throughout the world. It gives us fellowship with Paul that we cannot have in this world. So it’s very powerful.
I think that’s why I like biographies. It’s the chance to benefit from another person’s experience. People are creative, and they find all kinds of ways to serve the Lord in this world. There are so many creative ways in which we can relate to God, and if we are stuck in our own lives, alone, with just a bible, we miss out on watching God’s creativity through other sources. It limits us.
I’m the first to admit that I have limited face to face fellowship. I might sound like a hypocrite. Please know that I am not giving myself a pass. It’s been a process for me, and it’s difficult, but I’m committed to growing in Christ and becoming more open as a person. I know there are creative ways to do this, and I am growing, just like everybody else.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (1 Th 3:6–8). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.