Brittney kept her head on a swivel as she rushed down the rainy, dark alley behind the restaurant her dad owned. No one would be looking for her for at least an hour. Long enough to get two streets over to the meeting room. She pulled her hood up, shrank fully into her blue jacket and moved quickly. She was well-known and easily recognized. She prayed she could just disappear for a night. A night of hopeful abandon. A noise behind her triggered her adrenaline and she whipped around. A rangly tom-cat hissed and jumped to the ground from a dumpster. “Ah!” She covered her mouth with a wide-eyed grip looking everywhere at once. Her Dad might have her followed if he suspected what she was up to. She turned, “Gotta keep moving,” she whispered. She just needed to get one more street over.
When she arrived at the low-lit entry, she stepped to the wall and glanced back down the city street. A hooded and hunching figure leaned on a power pole outside, smoke flooded the space around his head. He was one of them. One who would give her more koinōnia. She waited for him as he put out his smoke and opened the door.
“Brittney, I’m so glad you could make it.” He smiled and leaned in for a hug. She squeezed his neck as the smell of nicotine and a spring rain washed over her.
“Yeah, I only have an hour. Are they here?”
“Yes. Waiting for you and I.”
“Did you bring it this time?” He asked her
“Yeah,” she lifted her shoulder bag tapped on the heavy bulge inside.
“Good.” He grunted and stepped ahead of her.
He opened the door at the back of long hallway and waved her in. Aromas, light, color and music flooded her senses. A cheer went up from the tables as she walked in and found her seat next to her new friend Becky, a rail-thin, alto-saxophone player with a high-pitched giggle and a habit of sucking on her teeth. “Brit-n-Beck” they had already started to call them together. She smiled and pulled her bag up as she sat down and then yanked out an over-large Bible. It was the one from the display case at home. It was big, dusty and hard to carry, but for the first time Brittney’s family lineage wouldn’t be the only page she looked at. The potluck at her new church felt like her new home. And it was time to get what she needed, some more koinōnia.
What is koinōnia?
It’s like a drug. It’s biological, it’s spiritual, and it is emotional. It touches every area of life and once you’ve had a taste, you can’t quit trying to get more of it. I should know. I do it all the time. I thought at first, that I was crazy, but the cravings don’t just quit. They get stronger and stronger. You think about it all the time. You wonder who else knows. You’ll do outrageous things to get more.
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
“Fellowship” is the Greek word koinōnia, pronounced like this; coin-ō-nē’-ä. But this isn’t just any kind of fellowship. It’s fellowship with like-minded believers. This is not some estranged emotional awkwardness like you’d find at an adult family dinner. This is true friendship. People sitting together who have a like-minded cause and mutual understanding. Of course, koinōnia is just a word like a bat, or a bank or money it is neither bad nor good. Hitler also sought koinōnia.
What can koinōnia do to you?
It is addicting, God-designed and a natural need of all humans. It has been twisted by the devil and it holds qualities that few outside the fellowship will understand. But when mixed with the right ingredients, koinōnia is incredible powerful. It literally means; full-sharing, intimacy, like-minded believing, and sharing fully without holding back. Counselors use it, AA uses it and churches use it in Sunday school. Here’s the drawback. You can’t just have koinōnia with anyone. Church is not a guaranteed safe place for it. The stone walls don’t hold out the manipulative element. You have to earn trust. You have to build believing. All parties must be fully invested. That isn’t built in one Sunday.
There are two major ingredients most Christians leave out keep the koinōnia, from fully manifesting. Tomorrow we’ll go over all the ingredients in koinōnia, and the two missing from most Christian relationships. Then, I’ll also show you how to get some of your own and why you shouldn’t try to live without it. In the mean time…
God bless you today!