My journey here has started with Unity. That was the trigger that got me questioning some of the traditions and beliefs I have grown up having within protestant evangelicalism. (If interested see my first two posts here and here.)
My journey then took me to believe Unity is an essential to our faith. We find many things to disagree about, and often find a few verses to support the different positions. But there is a very strong theme in Scripture that unity is essential. Our focus on unity needs to be present whenever we approach differences, or we are harming the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lately my journey has lead me to explore the possibility that some of the traditions institutional church has accumulated may not serve the building up of Christ's body well. I've been exploring what it means to gather as a body of Christ, and what sorts of activities serve the building up of each other. I've been trying to look to the New Testament church to see how it was modeled there, and desiring to see some of the same in my life.
Today I was doing a topic search on the word fellowship. And I kept coming across the same passage that got me started on this years ago.
Jesus' Prayer for us in John 17:20 - 26 (NIV)
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."So, when I'm praying for fellowship, and a community of believers where all members participate in being part of Christ's body... I guess what I'm praying for is unity again.
How we fellowship with one another paints a picture of how Jesus is united with the Father, and with how He is united with each of us. And we can look to Jesus relationship with the Father and with us to be an example of how we can fellowship with each other.