1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We write this to make our joy complete.

The Greek word for fellowship means much more than drinking coffee with others in the Fellowship Center or extending a greeting in worship. The root word koinonia means “to have in common, to share a common life.” This could include the sharing of personal burdens or the generous sharing of economic resources. Trevor Hudson in his book, Holy Spirit Here and Now, writes koinonia “has two interconnected dimensions: a horizontal sharing of life among Christ-followers as well as a vertical sharing of life with the Father and the Son. Our fellowship is with God and with each other. When we open our lives to Jesus, he enters with his arms around his brothers and sisters. We find ourselves in a new community through which God wants to restore and bless those around us. We cannot say to Jesus, ‘I want to follow you, but I do not want anything to do with your sisters and brothers.’ That option is not open to us. What God has joined together, we dare not put asunder. The horizontal and vertical belong together as they always do in the symbol of the cross.”

© 2017 Schweitzer United Methodist Church
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