We 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. 1 John, verse 3.
Already John has talked about his history with Jesus, how Jesus was the real life of the world and how He was his best friend. Here, John takes it to another level, saying that we can know Jesus that way as well so that we can be in fellowship with others who already know Him, who are in fellowship with God.
Fellowship: that’s an old word In our world today, it’s old fashioned, like some formal church group word. Or it’s very ‘Lord of the Rings’ish. Fellowship of the Ring; Odd Fellows, old fellows: we think of friendship, not just fellowship. And we think of friendship as in the Spice Girls, whose ‘friendship never ennnnnnds.” Our friendships come and go; I think it’s rarer in America today to have really, truly close all-life-long friends. At least that’s been my experience.
The kind of friendship, fellowship, that John is talking about is deeper than our experience. Dictionary.com defines ‘fellowship’ as “friendly relationship; companionship” as well as “communion.” Communion is unity, sharing of thoughts and intimacy, not just sharing of the Eucharist. That’s what John was talking about: being in communion with others because he was in full communion with God Himself. Not just that first Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. John is talking about truly asking someone into your life and truly being part of theirs. His words are more than just a proclamation: they’re an invitation.
When was the last time you or I invited someone to be in communion with us? When have we really asked others to really join us as soul-brothers or soul-sisters? I’ve had many friends in this life, but very few with whom I felt I was in real communion and fellowship. They’re the friends with whom we share our inmost thoughts, our plans and dreams, and the people to whom we go when we need the straight scoop. We trust them with anything, even our lives and the lives of the people we love. We really love them. We’re in true fellowship with them, real unity and companionship.
You know, like the Apostle John was with his fellow, Savior and friend, Jesus.
My friend Jesus, forgive my shortcomings and teach me to talk with you, for you and about you as my friend. Let me be in fellowship with you, and be in fellowship with me. Help us to grow this fellowship to include many others.