Younger readers will probably have no clue when I mention Jackie Gleason and maybe only a faint glimmer for James Taylor. Both these men have a little something in common – they both brought fame to the phrase, “How Sweet It Is”. As I was only a baby (really) when Gleason made it a catch-phrase on his television show, I am not sure of it’s context, but knowing a bit of his reputation, it was probably sarcastic or ironic (or both). However, I do remember James Taylor singing “How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you) – a very nice song, I think.
On Tuesday mornings, I attend a women’s fellowship at a church in town. We chat, pray for each other, snack on goodies (fellowship isn’t complete without goodies!) watch teaching videos or read a Bible study and then we break into smaller discussion groups and share thoughts and feelings. (Guys are going ewwww right about now)
Tuesday afternoons, I drive to a nearby town where my friend, Liisa, opens her home for women’s Bible study. Again we chat, snack on the requisite goodies (always home-baked), pray for each other and study the Bible together.
I am always blessed by the fact that women from different backgrounds, income levels, denominations and Biblical understanding can gather together in peace, love and joy. We share one another’s burdens, weep with one another, laugh with one another, pray together for each other, offer words of encouragement, support, comfort and hopefully some wisdom. We learn and grow together, as women, as humans, as spiritual beings. I almost always come away feeling lighter in my soul and spirit.
Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to you for the establishing of you.
Rom 1:12 And this is to be comforted together with you by our mutual faith, both yours and mine
Jas 5:16 Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the Law of Christ.
Fellowship doesn’t have to be just about a Bible study or even going to church; I have had a lot of fun with my “sistas” on picnics, hikes, shopping trips, craft workshops etc. You can incorporate fellowship into just about every aspect of your life.
Strong’s Concordance defines “Fellowship” as “partnership and participation”. Having this connection with other believers gives you a support structure or network that you can turn to when you need prayer, Godly counsel, encouragement, comfort and support. They can become members of your extended family – after all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe our own family relationships are not the best, but as sons and daughters of God, we have Jesus Christ as a big brother and we need to follow his example.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.
Eph 4:15 But saying true words in love, may come to full growth in him, who is the head, even Christ;
Eph 4:16 Through whom all the body, being rightly formed and united together, by the full working of every part, is increased to the building up of itself in love.
Php 2:1 If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tendernesses and mercies,
Php 2:2 then fulfill my joy, that you may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.
11Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Co 1:10 But I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Heb 10:24 and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works,
Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Good fellowship – “HOW SWEET IT IS”!