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The Fellowship

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:17

Psalm 47:1-9

Proverbs 22:16

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14

Reading this I had two main thoughts.

First, I think it's important to understand what "to be yoked" means. Because I worry that as the church we can insulate ourselves in a Christian bubble and perhaps use this passage to justify it. I've lived 90% of my life in a Christian bubble and the 10% I have been outside I have known that it is good and right to be in the world. We are called to be in the world, yes not of it, but still in the world.

The difference is that "to be yoked" is like two oxen yoked together. They move together and stay together. They are partners and they carry each other's burdens. There is equality and unity between them. We can't do this with someone who isn't a believer because we do not have the same goals, we are too different. There is no unity. We are opposites like light and darkness. The light can overwhelm the darkness and that is why we need to be in the world, but it is not done so by yoking ourselves together.

I can think of no better definition of "fellowship" than the Lord of the Rings. Frodo is given the heavy trying task of delivering the One Ring to Mordor. It is a massive burden. The Ring is highly concentrated evil and it bends the people around it to think selfishly and dark. He volunteers for the task but then a group of other people also volunteer to escort him. They become "the Fellowship of the Ring." The task is too difficult to do alone so they band together to navigate the road to Mordor, fight the obstacles that come their way, and keep each other accountable as the Ring attempts to bend them to wickedness. Frodo's most loyal companion sticks with him faithfully to the end resolving that Frodo will never carry the burden alone.

And this brings me to my second thought. As much as we cannot have this kind of unity with those who aren't believers we need to have this with those who are...and do we? As believers do we support and hold onto each other as we so need to? If we are in the world shining light into the darkness we need to come together and strengthen each other with prayer and love. We need to serve one another. We are built for relationships and with Christ we can know even deeper relationships because we share a gift so precious and a calling so weighty.

My prayer is for the church today, that we would become more faithful to the task of being a light in the darkness and become more faithful to each other.

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