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Minister's Minute: Koinonia: the visible mark of the community

May we may truly become active participants and genuine practitioners of koinonia.

Today I would like to talk about a Greek concept called koinonia.

When we learned these Greek words at seminary we used to walk around bragging about them as if we were the most educated seminarians!

Koinonia in English means fellowship, partnership, or social intercourse when you become an active participant in society. We participate in each other’s lives sharing love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Did not Jesus say: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

It strikes me that this immediately became the mark of the nascent Christian community in Jerusalem, which proclaimed that Christ had risen and had appeared to the 12, and 500 other brothers, including James, and later to Paul. (1 Corinthians 15.3-8).

But the real blockbuster on koinonia is Acts 4.32-37, which seems like a duplicate of Acts 2.44-46. Luke tells with enthusiasm about the amazing fellowship of the early Christian community. It was the golden age, a congenial image of the ideal community.

Psalm 133:1, also emphasizes fraternal unity: “How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God's people to live together in harmony!

Today there is a desperate need for us to practice genuine koinonia! Our witness of the risen wounded Christ is meaningless if we do not actively participate in the healing of this wounded world.

Koinonia today means sharing our resources in a world wounded by plunder, greediness, and corruption! Koinonia today means loving people wounded by cruelty, hatred, and violence! Koinonia today means respecting people wounded by intolerance, racism, and prejudice. Koinonia today means being agents of unity in a world wounded by division, discord, and disobedience! Koinonia today means feeding the poor, hungry and needy! Koinonia today means praying for the sick, the sad, and the sorrowful.

May we may truly become active participants and genuine practitioners of koinonia.