How would you define or describe Christian fellowship? Tea time after church? Saturday braai with church people around the soccer or rugby game? Weekly Bible study? Prayer meeting? Church services?
Christian fellowship is one of those terms we use frequently, but might not really be able to define with precision and accuracy. Romans 12:13 gives us a good start,
Contribute to the needs of the saintsRomans 12:13 (ESV)
and seek to show hospitality
The very word fellowship contains the idea of having things in common. These two commands in Romans 12:13 exploit that commonness that Christians have. When there is a need give of your resources to the other saint; when there is no specific need, invite the saints home to share your life with them. The first brings your resources into their lives; the second brings them into your own life.
It is not difficult to find ways to give of what you have to meet the need of another saint. Financial assistance to pay for basic needs might come to mind first, but sometimes a saints simply needs a small taxi fee paid to come to church, or perhaps a lift on your way to church. The elderly might need some of your time, handy-man skills, or simply your time to come over and keep them company (and don’t forget some biscuits on the way). Young mothers might benefit greatly from a babysitter to get some chores done – or somebody to get some chores done. Perhaps the need is simply to have someone with greater knowledge and influence assist in dealing with the corrupt systems of this world. Contributing to the needs of the saints simply requires knowledge of potential need. So get to know the saints at your church, and do so with a ready spirit.
Showing hospitality is again not as difficult as it pretends to be. We sometimes hope it will somehow just happen, but the command here is to seek ways to make sure it happens. Hospitality can be booked in advance, or come in the spur of the moment – a simple invitation is the start. Hospitality can be a three course meal, or a simply cup of water – a giving gesture is the point. The goal is not to impress, but to create time to spend together.
The point in all this is that since we have so much in common spiritually, let us share our physical things with one another as an excuse to spend more time in truly spiritual company. Let us invent ways to care for each other.