This series is about our life with the church as we attempt to live together as brothers and sisters. (For a more detailed description of this series, see my post “Church Life – A New Series.”)
Last week, our family went to Florida on vacation. But, we didn’t go alone. We went with another family from the church. We spent 9 days together. We traveled together in one vehicle. We spend a night with some friends of both families on the road. We stayed in rooms that were next door to one another.
While on vacation, we did almost everything together. We traveled on shuttle buses together. We went to amusement parks together. We ate together. We were together from early in the morning until late at night.
Why? Well, for one thing, we enjoy being with one another. We enjoy doing things together. We’re family. But, there’s another reason as well. We got to know one another even better by spending so much time with one another.
This last reason is also the reason that our church often spends Sundays at the beach together, or at the park together. This is the reason that we often spend weekend camping together. This is the reason that we spend time in one another’s homes.
The “fellowship” that we read about in Scripture cannot be lived in one or two hours on Sunday. It can’t be lived on through planned or scripted meetings. In fact, we define “fellowship” as “sharing life together” – and we try, as much as possible, to share all of life together. And, that includes vacations.
This is not the only time that we’ve vacationed with other people from the church. And, we’re not the only families from the church to vacation together. These occasions of sharing life – from everyday events to big events – is very important to the life of the church. These are discipling opportunities, service opportunities, teaching opportunities, caring opportunities, comforting opportunities. These are opportunities to learn more about one another (i.e. “consider one another”) so that we can then help one another grow in our individual and mutual relationships with Christ (i.e. “to stir up love and good works”).
So, our two families had a good time together in Florida. We visited Walt Disney World. But, this time together was much more important than riding roller coasters and watching shows. This time together was another opportunity to share life… the abundant life that Jesus Christ has given each of us… church life.