[Column] The Fellowship of Christians is Beautiful

Upon the announcement of Tokyo as the host city of the 1964 Olympics, there began a demolition of an existing building for the expansion of the stadium in the vicinity. As the laborers removed the roof of the building, they discovered a lizard whose tail was nailed to the wall. To everyone’s dismay, it was revealed that the nail has been there for at least three years. That meant the lizard has survived in “captivity” for the past three years. Fascinated by this remarkable phenomenon, the laborers took a break and decided to observe the lizard for a while. What they witnessed was even more astonishing than the lizard’s survival itself. Another lizard brought food to its less fortunate partner. The freely moving lizard has in fact been feeding its “captive” friend for three years. As this simply story suggests, love builds up community and sustains life.

All Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Brothers and sisters have the same parents. They are blood relatives. Likewise, Christians are born from the same parent, the Father, through the Holy Spirit and are blood relatives with one another through the blood of Christ. Therefore the fellowship of Christians is the most precious treasure money cannot buy. We experience the love of “invisible” God through “visible” brothers and sisters at church. Let us remember that we are true blood brothers and sisters. We are not to create division among us based on socio-economic status or the level of education. God wants us Christians to embrace one another and become one in spite of our difference in upbringing, personality, and preference. Anything that contributes to lack of unity such as hate, envy, wrath, division, and separatism must be avoided at all costs. Christians are to bear one another’s burdens and render assistance and share joy with one another.

The fellowship and unity of Christians bring blessing. The Bible also refers them as precious oil and the dew, which represent God’s blessing in earthly life (Psalm 133:2-3). He who is at peace with others receives the blessing of eternal life. It is not just an everlasting life in which we merely continue to live but an eternal life in which we live in God’s abundance (cf. Psalm 133:2; Hebrews 12:14). When Christians are united in love, God grants Rehoboth or divine blessing of prosperity (Genesis 26:22). Only when Christians reconcile and are at peace with one another, can the wall between God and us come down.

One day, St Francis heard a knock on the door of his monastery. When he opened the door, he saw an angry looking leper standing by the door. The leper asked the saint to let him in so he can warm himself up. St Francis led him to the room and complied with his request for dinner. As the night grew dark and cold, the leper requested that he be warmed up with the saint’s body temperature. St Francis then took of his alb and warmed up the leper’s body. The next day, the saint went to his room but the leper was nowhere to be found. He then realized it was God who visited him last night and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. That prayer is what is known today as the “Prayer of St Francis.”

Where there is hatred, let me sow love… Where there is injury, pardon…
Where there is despair, hope… grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console, to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.

We must create a beautiful community God takes delight in by first understanding, forgiving, and loving our fellow brothers and sisters. The fellowship of Christians is truly precious, beautiful, and honorable.

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