To protect the family name

I take part in a bible study on a Sunday morning in the house at the crazy early time of 0930. We’ve been running through the book of Acts and after 3 months we’ve made it to chapter 2. This could take a while.

Anyhow we’re at the bit helpfully entitled the fellowship of believers in the NIV. Which has this wonderfully radical bit about the believers holding the finances in common – which we have somehow managed to either spiritualise or edit out somewhere along the line.

But it also has this use of the word koinonia, translated as “fellowship” or by some as “the common life”.

I’ve been brought up in the culture where fellowship is either a cup of tea and a bun after church or merely as Christian banter – whatever that may be. So forgive me if i have a somewhat dim view of the word. Though I think we can redeem it a bit.

Anyhow we were chatting through today what we thought was meant by the common life of the believers in the early church (so early they hadn’t even worked out the name Christian or the word Church).

We figured this was a lot of things, including the financial aspect but perhaps the analogy of the family was the best. [Another clue that all the basic things than human beings do (marriage, family, kids etc…) point towards something bigger than themselves.]

When something in a family situation goes spectacularly wrong – divorce, alcoholism, unwanted teen pregnancy, unemployment, financial crisis – then it is the whole family’s problem, even if it is only the mum that has the drink problem or the son that got some girl pregnant. Families (in general) do not walk away from each other. They do not hold each other at a distance and view an individuals problems as just that – the individuals problem. Your problems become our problems. This is simply the way families work. Blood is thicker than water and all that.

And so when it comes to the church then is this the model we should be striving for?

[as a brief aside I am not so naive to think all families are like this – I just see this at work in mine and lots of others]

1 Response to “To protect the family name”

  1. 1 Paul Robinson March 22, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Yeah that’s cool. Liked what you said about the problems being everyones not just the person responsible. It kind of reminds me of what I wrote in my last blogpost about not being afraid to talk to others about our sins. We’re often afraid to let others take on some of our burdens. Thanks Andy

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March 2009

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