Communion is a word that we most often associate with the Lord’s Supper. Communion is another word for fellowship. It infers our common union with God and with one another. 

Authentic communion, or Christian fellowship, is a precious gift from the Lord. I know many people don’t see it, or even believe it any longer, because they have seen unhealthy expressions of Christ’s Church.

I don’t advocate for a pure church without faults. It is simply not possible. The church is God’s people growing to be more like Jesus. We are all on a journey. We have good days and bad ones too. However, it is when we discover God’s sweet presence among us that things begin to change all around us.

Let us examine four elements of authentic communion and Christian fellowship.

1. People that meet each other

All the believers were together …” (Acts 2:44).

If you read the New Testament, there is a clear picture painted. The first church was always together. They found joy being with one another.

‘Being together’ is essential if we want to have authentic communion. It means being in the same place, sharing the moment, building real connections and healthy relationships.

People desire connection. Social media has taught us that the world is desperate to connect with each other - overcoming barriers to be together, even when we are apart physically. This is the new normal in our social life.

Followers of Jesus should be the same. They should find it hard not to meet with each other. It should be the norm and the deepest desire in our hearts. Sunday is a time to see each other as God’s people, in a single place. We gather to meet together with the King, the Lord, and the Saviour of our souls, Jesus Christ.

2. People that help each other

Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3)

You can’t read Romans 16:1-16 without witnessing the marks of authentic communion: cooperation, welcoming, hospitality, prayer, friendship, among other things. It is not an accident when followers of Jesus call each other: “brother” or ‘sister”, because that is what we are. We are a family. We have the same Father, as we have been adopted by God, in Christ Jesus. God is our heavenly Father. We belong to the same household thanks to the redemptive work of Jesus in each one of us. We are led by the Holy Spirit, that makes us God’s children (Romans 8:12-17).

Until we realise that it is a blessing to be part of Christ’s Church, we will not discover the abundant life that the Lord has promised to all those that follow Him. Authentic communion is such a blessing. Being in communion with God’s people is a blessing.

It is not just because we are there for each other. It is because we could not be without each other. We are more like Jesus when we are closer to each other. We are closer to Jesus when we like being together, learning from each other, sharing the moment and supporting each other through life.

3. People that love each other

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Love is the ultimate mark of authentic communion and Christian fellowship. It is expressed through our attitudes towards others and complete commitment to being a part of the life of God’s people. In the household of faith, love does not need tragedy to be manifest. It is ever present in daily affairs. It is as present as the air that we breathe. Jesus declared it as one of the true signs of being an authentic disciple.

True love is contagious. Sadly, true love can be hard to be find today. Some mistake kindness for love. Others mistake compassion for love. And others talk about love when they mean sex.

Love is more than an emotion; it is an action and a lifestyle. It is given to others without expecting anything in return. It comes from our deepest innermost-being. It is a passion that causes us to give ourselves to others, even when we are rejected and persecuted. This is the reason that love is still the most revolutionary word today, as yesterday.

4. People that forgive each other

Matthew 6:12 is a well-known biblical text amongst those that have been a Christian for some time. It says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”. Here are three words that change everything: ‘as we also’. This means in the same measure that we forgive others; God forgives us.

Forgiveness is such a liberating action. It can be hard to let go, but once we do, we find freedom. Freedom from the past and even freedom from past hurts. This is the reason why forgiveness is not something that we do for others, it is something that the Lord calls us to act upon for our own sake.

Through God’s power, forgiveness is always ready to flow through us. It is not always going to be easy however. Neither comes without mental battles and mixed feelings. However, the Holy Spirit is always ready to help us to forgive and let go when we need His power.

Be assured, forgiveness is one of the healthiest and most liberating decisions that you will ever take. All those that have taken this path, have discovered the joy and fullness of life, as their pain fades away.

In Christ’s Church, authentic communion is God’s plan for all of us. Turn to Christ and ask Him to lead you into authentic Christian fellowship today.

Every blessing,

Bishop Josep Rossello