In an essay entitled “Afterword,” science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut wrote about what he thought was needed for true happiness. He began by looking back to an earlier time when real communities existed in which people knew one another, helped one another, visited one another, and shared what they had. He then contrasted those days with the present: “Now this is rarely possible. Each family is locked in its little box ... There aren’t houses where people can go and be cared for ... Where have the old values gone? ... We’re lonesome.” He concluded his essay by proposing this solution: “Human beings will be happier when they find ways to be more comfortable together, to have more attitudes and experiences in common.” Doesn’t his solution echo the verse above? The big question, not answered by Vonnegut, is “How can we accomplish this?”
Acts 2:44 describes the attitude of the early Church. When Christians compare its beginning with the present, they all conclude that something is lacking – not because there are no fellowship meetings, but because fellowship has become a special activity rather than a way of life.
Has fellowship been reduced to a monthly meeting? Does our association with those with whom we “fellowship” begin and end at the meeting hall door? Are our homes open to fellow Christians? What about our hearts and hands? Do we have time for one another? Members of the body should function together all the time, not just in crisis times (1 Cor. 12:25-27).
The only way to strengthen church fellowship is to “have more attitudes and experiences in common.” Not because Vonnegut said it, but because God’s Word says it.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org