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People need togetherness. One week after Georgia was told to shelter in place because of the Coronavirus, a tornado hit Trenton. Suddenly cleaning up the disaster became the priority – it was needed and required. Even though it had only been one week, many people said it was good to go out and help others. Churches in our area recently “opened” again, but, because of health concerns, socializing was very limited. It was good to see friend’s faces and speak with them, but I really wanted a strong handshake and a brotherly hug. I wanted to stand close to my friends. I wanted the awkward “6 feet distancing” and face masks to go away. We could not stay and fellowship as usual, but were asked to leave after the church service. Diane and I agreed that church was not the same with those rules. Social distancing at church might have been necessary, but it was awkward.

People need unity. Unity is good and pleasant (Psalm 133:1). Unity means togetherness, a oneness of mind or feeling, harmony, agreement, and the absence of differences that divide. Friends have unity because of shared hobbies, family, situations, goals, beliefs, desires, etc. A true friend will rebuke his friend when needed. A good friend is willing to talk straight and blunt with his friend. Unity does not mean there are no problems, but unity overcomes and solves problems. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

People need peace. Peace is when arguments and strife stop. I have noticed that isolation can cause people to become paranoid and untrusting. Staying home, watching the news on TV, and viewing online commentary videos can cause much stress. Search the Bible for peace (and find it 429 times).

People need fellowship. The Bible commands Christians to gather together (fellowship). “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Fellowship does not only mean eating together. In the South, we have church fellowships with much food. We also give “the right hand of fellowship,” but fellowship is more than a handshake. Fellowship is community, communion, and sharing a common direction. It has been jokingly said that fellowship is “two fellows in a ship.” But if those two fellows are working together to row the boat in the same direction, they truly have fellowship.

Fellowship is being united in purpose and helping each other toward a common goal (1 Peter 3:8). In the children’s game “Red Rover,” two teams line up facing each other. They lock arms and one team chants, “Red Rover, Red Rover send (name) right over.” That person runs fast and tries to break through the locked arms. Fellowship is like “Red Rover,” locking arms and working together.

Fellowship includes sharing another person’s burden (Galatians 6:2). When you help someone in need, you have fellowship with them. You can also have a closer relationship with them in the future.

Fellowship brings encouragement and comfort. When Christians have the same faith in God together, they both benefit (Romans 1:12).

Fellowship includes agreement. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Agreeing about the Bible, salvation by Jesus Christ, and prayer needs increases fellowship. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

The best fellowship includes Jesus Christ. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 JN 1:7). I hope you have that kind of fellowship. For spiritual help or more information about the best fellowship, contact: SilentWord.org/Saved

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