Fellowship

Three hundred women raised their voices and sang the classic hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Three hundred lives. Three hundred families represented. Three hundred souls lifting their voices in praise to God Almighty. I marveled.

Sometimes like Elijah (who ran away to pout in a cave), I think I am alone when I face the world. I believe I’m the only one who cares about God’s Word. Who loves His law. Who is in love with His Son. And then, I traipse into a local church to attend Bible Study Fellowship with three hundred women and I am reminded that God is at work everywhere.

The first few years I attended BSF, I laughed at the idea of the word ‘fellowship,’ in the BSF acronym. We arrive at 6:55 and exited at 8:45. There is a designated amount of minutes allowed for group time and prayer. I never had much time for fellowship. I see now that my idea of fellowship was skewed.

I thought food and football might be necessary for fellowship. It’s definitely a plus in my book, but not necessary. Not even important. What is important is the sharing of scripture and loving the Savior. When I meet with these women from all walks of life, that is what we celebrate. That is our goal.

At Christmas, my graduate-school daughter brought home a young man named David. I liked him. Before he left he said, “My mom wanted me to give you our Christmas letter but I forgot.” He brought it up on the computer and when I read it, I felt kinship for a woman I’d never met. She shared her heart and her love for the Lord. Becky mentioned that she attended Bible Study Fellowship. Although five hours away, we attend a study that teaches us about the God of Isaiah who is faithful to an obstinate people, who judges rebellion and sin, and who loves wicked sinners like me. Recently, Becky and I met over dessert. We enjoyed our time together, but my heart joined hers at Christmas.

Last week we hosted a young couple and their friends who shared a DVD from their mission trip to Nigeria. Contemporary music played while pictures of a an unknown people spread across the screen like unique flowers. Crying, I watched as several hundred orphans sang, “I Surrender All.” They live at the Voice of the Martyr orphanage because one or both of their Christian parents were killed by Muslim extremists. These children understood that song.

After the DVD, nine of us, including my 90-year-old mama, prayed. We prayed for those children. We pleaded for lost souls. Our hearts joined in fellowship—not football. It was sweet.

This reminds me of a Scripture and song that describes our future fellowship. Revelation 5: 9, 10 states, “And they sang a new song, saying ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom of priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’”

As I picture how that will play out in heaven with my finite mind, I can’t help but think that I might be singing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” with a few women from my study, along with David’s mother. We might even move to, “I Surrender All,” with a few hundred children and their parents.

I can’t wait for that fellowship.

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