Fellowship and the Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles
The Book of Acts offers us a glimpse in life in the Early Church. In chapter 2 the book’s author, Saint Luke, shares with us a list of the important activities that took place among the believers.
He said, “And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
This list simply says that parishioners of the Early Church had the right faith and were always praying liturgies. And chief among these activities is Fellowship!
In today’s terms, fellowship calls to mind visions of coffee hour, youth camps, outings, dinners, snacks after youth meetings, and similar activities. But in our parish life today, we sometimes put less emphasis on these activities than we do on liturgy or prayer.
In the verse from Acts, St. Luke tells us that this was not the case in the Early Church. Fellowship was an integral part of the Christian life on par with the liturgy and Apostolic doctrine.
A Tradition of Brotherhood
When you visit fourth century monasteries in Egypt, you see that the monasteries were designed so that the dinning area for the monks, the refectory, was always attached to the southwest side of the monastery Church. And it was the practice of these monks that they would gather for a liturgy after praying the liturgy.
The fact that this dinning area was always attached to the Church illustrates the importance that monks, who are dedicated to solitude and silence, place on regularly gathering for fellowship.
This idea of fellowship is more important now than ever, as more and more people want to belong to a group. And inviting a friend to one of these events says that you are really interested in him or her personally. This invitation is different than the invitation to a Church service or Bible study, which may leave some with the impression that you are trying to score points with God by bringing someone to Church.
When that friend comes to break bread and sees how Christians behave in real life, they see the Bible in action, not simply in words.
St. Luke continued that the result of keeping these practices is that “the Lord added to the Church[a] daily those who were being saved.”
Note here that the list did not include evangelism. Instead fellowship was highlighted as the most powerful form of evangelism, offering newcomers the chance to see Christ in every Church member.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week and we want to reach millions more! Signup to receive our newsletter email: email@example.com.
Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! You can be inspired daily by the OCN programming from where ever you are by plugging into our Listen, Read, Watch , Wors
Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, volunteers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your sustaining gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure the continued growth of this encouraging Orthodox Community by providing faith-building, free, high-quality programming. Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.
ORTHODOX MOBILE APPS ARE HERE!
Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,