Monday, January 2, 2012

Thankful for Communion by Intimate Participation

So as I start the New Year with thankfulness, I honestly had no idea where to start. I’m actually feeling pretty angry and hurt by many things; however God is showing me a lot in this season.

As we drove home from our 8th Anniversary getaway to Leavenworth, I tried to look out the window and name that one thing to start my New Year’s blog of Thankfulness off with, but the anger and bitterness in my heart kept me from really appreciating the beauty of which I was seeing.

Truth is, I’m hurting, deeply. I feel the strain of awkward relationship, friendships on hold, friendships drowning…Some had to happen this way due to the season we are in, some chose this, some have just naturally evolved here, all painful. I would not have picked this season, I certainly have struggled to call this season “good” but it is the season we are in and I’ve had to fight a lot of lies to see truth and beauty in this season.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts” and felt challenged to blog about what I am thankful for, not as an exercise in discipline but an awareness of how often I don’t appreciate the gifts I have been given. Today, Voskamp wrote a blog about naming 2012 The Year of Koinonia (http://www.aholyexperience.com/). I am not a stranger to the word Koinonia because I have a theology loving husband that often goes to the root Greek word to find meaning but I went the quick route of Wiki to come up with articulate definition for this blog…

Koinonia is the anglicisation of a Greek word (κοινωνία) that means communion by intimate participation. The word is used frequently in the New Testament of the Bible to describe the relationship within the Early Christian church as well as the act of breaking bread in the manner which Christ prescribed during the Passover meal [John 6:48-69, Matthew 26:26-28, 1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 11:24]. As a result the word is used within the Christian Church to participate, as Paul says, in the Communion of - in this manner it identifies the idealised state of fellowship and community that should exist - Communion.

Communion by intimate participation, beautiful! It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and community that should exist. So first, thank you Ann Voskamp for the ways in which you write and use imagery that captures my heart and gets me feeling again. Second, I am truly thankful for a small (unbelievably real) community of friendship that God has placed before me in this season. It is real, it is authentic, it is life-giving, and it is full of the gospel.

This small group of friends (all individually) have reached in and continued to pursue, love, seek, and seek, and seek. All have continued to let us know they are here and desire to know how to love and serve us. They have not been ok with “we are good” answers and when they receive the “we are good” answers continue to camp out on our couch or in or voicemails or in our emails waiting until we can give an honest and authentic response to “how are you doing”? This group of friends have let us stir and struggle in our sin and confusion and have gently pointed us to the cross and helped us see where we are in sin and where what we are experiencing is a righteous anger. They have allowed us to process and vent and not let it be a stumbling block for them. This group of friends span along the I5 corridor and have lived closely and intimately with us as well as from a far.

I am thankful for their regular calls, their regular emails, and their regular invitations. Sometimes it’s seeking and sometimes it’s just waiting or listening. I am thankful for them either way. I am thankful that God has given us the right kind of community at the right time in our life. I am also thankful that He has called us to some friendships in their time of need and that He doesn’t leave it to me to define.

This second day of 2012 I am most thankful for the friendships we have in this season and pray that I can be a godly friend in return.

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