This week has given me a lot of time to think and a lot of time to experience "real" fellowship. I'm quite thankful for it, but I've realized some things about myself that the Lord must begin to change. We in Louisville have found ourselves in the midst of another HUGE storm (another because we had one wind storm this fall which caused similar damage and kept us out of school for a week). This time, the storm came in the form of lots of ice and snow. Last Monday night it began and continued. Power went out in most of the city on Wednesday sometime. School has been out since last Tuesday (we'll return tomorrow). And most of the Seminary campus lost power including most of the Seminary apartments. They suggested that students go home if they could, as LG&E (our power company) expected the city to be without power in some place for 7-10 days.
Unfortunately, its not that easy for some people to get home... and its expensive too! The good thing about all this was the breeding ground it created for fellowship. Beginning Wednesday night our small group friends from church became fairly communal in our living situation! Two couples whose apartments didn't have power, stayed with the others who did. Our friends Jeremy and Sarah (who's expecting a baby in April) stayed with us. Among all of us we often shared meals as those who were out of their homes had food they didn't want to spoil... and those who were in our homes were beginning to run out of groceries at certain points.
The Lord really showed me that "small groups" every other week don't fill the Christian's call for "fellowship" at all. In fact, it is a great step in that direction... and I'm so thankful for our friends there... but really we became so much closer through this trying time. No, I don't think I could very easily adapt to a communal life (nor do I think Christ is calling us to). Rather, I do think we must be open as often as we're given the opportunity to enter into such fellowship. We must talk often and openly with one another as Christians (maybe just women have the need to "talk often"). We must share our thoughts, ideas, and questions in order to receive and offer wise counsel and other insights. And most difficult for me... we must leave our "comforts" of an organized home, laundry washed often, a refrigerator and freezer with only "my" food, and time for my family and I to do as we please. In order to have real fellowship we must not think first of ourselves and our conveniences. Rather we must welcome those who are in the body of Christ and think much less of ourselves. I pray that the Lord will conform me as He desires in these ways.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
I will have great memories of this week and all it entailed... walking around the mall to stop our lethargic feelings; eating at Chic-Fil-A and enjoying the perks of free refills, coupons, and WiFi; late night conversations about Reformed theology and ministry futures (until 1am in fact); SuperBowl parties; pot-lucks with lots of friends and very well-rounded meals; the perks of a pull out couch... list could go on!