According to dictionary.com, here are the definitions for fellowship:
|.||1. the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.|
|2.||friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.|
|3.||community of interest, feeling, etc.|
|4.||communion, as between members of the same church.|
|6.||an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc.|
|7.||a company, guild, or corporation.|
|9.||to admit to fellowship, esp. religious fellowship.|
|10.||to join in fellowship, esp. religious fellowship.|
Did you see food mentioned in there? Neither did I.
I was watching The Fellowship of the Ring today and this thought struck me. Frodo was at his most vulnerable when he was separated from the fellowship. When he put the ring on and had to face the Nazgul alone, he was injured and nearly killed. But when he stayed with the fellowship, they were there to guide and protect each other.
That is what saddens me about what our churches have done with fellowship. It has been taken from a concept of community where we guide, protect, love and support each other to a concept of expanding each other's waistlines. It's about food. We sit with the same people at the "fellowship" events anyway. Instead of involving ourselves in each other's lives, we feed our faces. We waste a valuable opportunity to build up the spirital side of the body. Instead, we choose to build the body mass, and let the spirit wither.
For more of my thoughts on this, go here and here.
This is a hard nut to crack, as I have discovered. It is an ingrained practice handed down from the Lord himself, just ask the fellowship diehards. It could be so much more. But alas, it is a celebration of Aunt Edna's Three Bean Salad.
Upon the advice of my doctor, I am swearing off potlucks. At least that is my plan.