Subscribing to fellowship with God

“Fellowship with God. What do you think when you hear this?” If you were to interview people in the street, it would elicit a number of responses such as church services, the celebration of Holy Communion, everyday experiences. Exactly! Christians experience their God in many different ways.

For example, by serving Him. Following Jesus means serving Him. People are usually at their best when they serve a person or a cause out of conviction. The idea must be good, the person must be pleasant, and the whole thing must be good for something. Only then will you willingly work hard to further the common cause and be ready to give something: of your time, your money, and your future. And do not be mistaken. In the end, these efforts are always worthwhile, even if it does not look like it from the start. Jesus says that those who serve Him will be honoured by His Father. What more do we want!

This will be the subject of the New Apostolic services in the month of February.

So, what does it meant to serve?

To serve Jesus means to walk in His footsteps. In particular, not jumping to conclusions and limiting our love when it comes to our neighbour, or giving up in the face of accusation and persecution, but committing ourselves to God tirelessly and continually. That is not easy, of course. Especially in countries with divided societies, where one is part of an ideological minority or where the mainstream has turned into a bullying monster.

Following Christ and professing the gospel boldly will not find everyone’s approval. But even rejection—and maybe precisely rejection—is part of following Christ. Christians should not be surprised that their commitment to Christ often meets with a lack of understanding and even ridicule. Such devotion does not always meet with approval. But that is not the point anyway! True comfort lies in the words: “If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour.” Jesus’ life ended on the cross. His way did not! It led Him much further than the eye can see.

Practising love for our neighbour

The sermon on the second Sunday will delve deeper into the subject. Followers of Jesus are called to proclaim the gospel despite the difficulties they may encounter. Apostle Paul is a good example here. He had many opponents, notably the traditionalists, the self-proclaimed saviours, and the many businessmen. But Paul did not allow any of this to discourage him, on the contrary: he is the very epitome of joyful profession of the gospel.

The bread we are to eat

Now we come to the bigger picture: Jesus has fellowship with those who follow Him, those who profess belief Him! The meal we share with Him, the Lord, now comes into the focus. Holy Communion is direct fellowship with God. It seems made for convinced Christians: it is a meal of profession. It is a meal of fellowship. It is a meal of commemoration. It is a meal of the future: the Christian professes his belief in the sacrificial death, in the resurrection, and the return of Christ.

Anyone who has fellowship with the Lord in this way also experiences Him in daily life.

Photo: Thomas Soellner

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Peter Johanning