"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep."
It has been a while since I have posted on this blog, but it was not because I was not learning anything. In fact I think I was learning so much that I got overwhelmed and when that happens I have to take a breather to "digest" what I have learned about God's character and what I have discovered about me.
I prayed many years ago to always have a "teachable spirit". That no matter how old,
experienced or wise that I thought I was, I would always be willing to learn from whomever God put in my path to enlighten me. Now does that mean I look for every spiritual or mystical person or thing that cross my path to have a "word" from God for me? Heaven's sake No! But I knew that as I submitted myself to God with a willingness to learn, then His love would never lead me down the wrong path; as long as I discerned and obeyed His leading. Have I ever missed the mark? You betcha! But those were times when in my flesh, I wanted to "fit in" with the so called In Crowd, and yes they do have those in Christian circles...sad but true.
Anyway, I said all that to say that through the brilliant teaching of I'll just say Pastor A., I have been learning about the true meaning of Fellowship. That it is not always about a group of believers getting together around food (though food could be included), but basically it is about sharing, truly sharing about the goodness of God, His Word, how He has helped us, truly listening to and encouraging one another, being truthful with one another even when it may not be popular, and really CARING for each other. When we can do that kind of fellowship, I believe that it overflows and spills out to this desperate, sad world. True fellowship also means having a common bond, love and respect for one another with the openness to invite others in to partake of our experiences with God. With this in mind... I took my dogs for a romp at the Dog park...
As I entered the gate I was greeted by not only various breeds of friendly pups, but friendly people. This was a group of folks that really loved their dogs and by bringing them to the dog park on a regular basis had developed a sort of "family". The fact that I was only an occasional visitor did not deter them from bringing me into their conversations about the
antics of their beloved dogs. In fact one lady very sweetly dubbed me, the "Chihuahua Lady". :-) These precious people , even though some were a little "different" and maybe a little eccentric, very lovingly included me into their family as they recognized that we had a common bond, a common love...our dogs.
As I have mentioned before, I love watching people, their mannerisms, reactions, body language (once again I promise, I am not a stalker). And even though I love to talk, I sat quietly and watched as these people demonstrated fellowship. They had a common love, they respected each other, they gave each other remedies and tips on how to have a happy dog, they laughed with each other about the funny dog stories and they were sad with the ones that had sad stories and sick dogs. They had different appearances, temperaments, personalities and yes even skin colors. But because of their common bond, they were "Fellowshipping" and it WORKED! They made me feel welcomed, and because of what I saw and felt, I wanted to be a part of this "Family". They cared about what was important to one another and that made me want to embrace them.
As I watched, I thought about us as believers in Christ, about how we have gotten so far away from true fellowship, the kind that is written about in the Book of Acts. We have a common bond/love: Jesus Christ and God's Word, but in many ways we have gotten off the path that God intended for us. My desire is to care more, talk less and listen more, share more about God and His Word, respect more, encourage more, rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep more, be more generous and hospitable, so that it will overflow and spill out to this world and they will want to embrace God.
It's not too late, we can still fulfill this purpose that God intended for true fellowship among us. We can still be examples of God's love for the world.
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Lovingly, "The Chihuahua Lady" ;-)