Sharing in and sharing out

Today, Selwyn continues with his study of the meaning of the Greek word ‘koinonia’ (shared fellowship), as part of a wider discussion on a characteristic of the Early Church; a deep sense of community and fellowship.

I like his summary of what it is, we share: “First, we share in the same inheritance – our eternal salvation. We are begotten by the will of the same Father, redeemed by the blood of the same Son, and indwelt by the presence of the same Holy Spirit. The same God who lives in me lives in you. The same blood that cleansed me also cleansed you. The same Spirit who energises my life is also in you. This makes us one.”

It’s my view – that in a very real sense – we possess nothing that isn’t a gift from God – and our stewardship of these gifts will be measured according to how well we use them to further His kingdom.

As Selwyn mentions, the early Christians were called to share all their possessions. “Although God may not call us to do the same thing today, this question remains: if He did, would we be willing?”

In thinking about this issue, I thought about the story of the rich ruler (Luke 18:18-29), an exemplary ‘religious’ person of his time, but when Jesus said to him: ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.’ When he heard this , he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God  … ‘ . 

I think it’s the hope of independence and freedom which the rich seek from their wealth that becomes a major stumbling block; yet, such hope is fleeting, unreliable and evasive because the only real and lasting freedom is to be found by having (and living) a total trust in Jesus. To follow Him.

In the western world, we all all challenged in the same way as the rich ruler – more so, as we (in general) have lost the greater part of our community spirit – to what extent do we interact with our neighbours – is it not the trend to have less and less of a warm relationship with those who live in close proximity with us?

Is it any wonder that it’s hard for us to turn-on a sharing community spirit each Sunday when we don’t share ourselves with all those around us, during the week – what do you think?