Friday, September 28, 2007


Okay, I admit it: this is a pet peeve. But I justify my peevishness in that this error can sometimes make a big difference in theology. Not always, but often.

Fellowship is not about bowling leagues and throwing darts. Fellowship is not about potlucks and helping with fund-raisers.

Fellowship is something that happens primarily at the altar. We are made one with Christ by eating His body and drinking His blood. In this way we are also united to one another. Fellowship is also seen in our praying together "Our Father" because we are united in the Creed which we confess jointly. Fellowship is when we say "Amen: yes, yes, it shall be so" to the same sermon. Fellowship is when we study the Bible together and pray Matins together.

It really doesn't matter a hill o' beans whether I like you or not. Fellowship isn't about liking each other. Fellowship isn't about doing things together. It is about the love of Christ claiming us, and that we are made one body.

Now, it so happens that when we pray together, sing hymns together, say "amen" to the same doctrine, and (of course!) commune together,

we will grow in affection for each other. We may play even softball together, eat birthday cake together, go to movies together, and visit each other in the hospital. But those things are an outgrowth of true fellowship. They are never the cause of fellowship. If a church wants more of the friendliness and chumminess, it ain't gonna find it by focusing on activities and friendliness. It ain't gonna find fellowship by serving coffee and donuts. When the people are bonded together by the apostles' doctrine and the "fellowship" (that is, the liturgy and the Holy Communion)* then the chumminess and friendliness will follow. And we might even enjoy donuts together on a Sunday morning too.

* See Acts 2:42.


  1. Similar things could be said about "ministry." :)

  2. Not a pet peeve, Susan. That is truth. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

  3. Dan sang my tune.

    {poke, poke}

  4. Susan - You put words to feelings I have had for years. You are right on. Normally I only read blogs and don't comment, but I just had to say thank you!