I can hear it now, "Why hasn't that pastor down at Peace Haven been blogging?!" I'm sure no one except maybe my Mom is asking that question, but I had the realization this morning in the midst of our Christmas season/basketball frenzy that it is true! I haven't been in the good ole' blogosphere in quite a while. So here I am...what do you want to talk about?
Did you say "Koinonia?" I thought that was exactly what you were thinking! Some of you are laughing because that sounds like Greek to you and guess what? You're right, because it's Greek. One of the things that I cherish about this Christmas season is the sweetness of the fellowship that we experience in the context of the body of Christ. While there are many grand gatherings that require our time, it is time with brothers and sisters in Christ that tend to resonate the most with my weary soul! Whether it is time with friends, worship, times like the hanging of the greens, or just sitting down over a meal with our elders and deacons, I can't help but look around and consider how deeply blessed I am.
You see the koinonia that the bible speaks of is that aspect of christian fellowship that cannot be paralleled by the Who's of Whoville (home of The Grinch), the crowd on Cheers where everyone knew their name, or even a day of shopping with your BFF. Having the common bond of Christ makes all of the difference in life and relationships as well. I look around at the relationships that God has blessed me with and I simply stand amazed. In less than a year we have bonded with young and old at Peace Haven to forge some amazing relationships that I never dreamed would ever be this sweet. As a dear friend would say, we are now "one of them." It's just good to be a part of such a great family of faith and see God moving in so many directions (many of which have NOTHING to do with the pastor or his family).
Do you have those kinds of relationships this Christmas? If your hope and joy is in a future candidate for the thrift store or an electronic device that will become obsolete quicker than you can blink, then you are missing so very much. People often try to argue with me about not needing to go to church to be a believer, but my simple response is, "How can you be a Christ follower and not hunger for these relationships?" I know that there are many who have had bad church experiences, but I pray that they will not throw the baby out with the bathwater by writing off this opportunity to experience God as he moves and works through his people. It is this truth that resonates with me this Christmas as we once again celebrate the word that became flesh and "moved into the neighborhood" (according to The Message paraphrase). Get out and experience the joy of koinonia in such a way that lives are changed beyond your own personal walk of faith. Incarnate the faith that you profess by walking among people and allowing some of your Jesus to rub elbows with them in the good, bad, and ugly of this human existence. When you do, you will find yet another great truth in the divine revelation of Christmas. You will find the fullness of his presence as you gather with others to proclaim, praise, and worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Taste and see today how good our God really is. You will never regret it once you have resolved to go ALL IN for him and thrive as he designed our lives to exist in his abundance. Have an amazing Christmas and if our church can serve you or your family, just let us know!