Doug Creamer column: Fellowship

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

By Doug Creamer

For many years my brother and I teased each other about our work. My brother is a supervisor who walks around and points at things and tells his employees to do this or that. What is so hard about pointing and grunting at employees? I am a teacher and he teased me that someone was paying me to talk. I loved to talk as a kid, and I still love to talk today. He couldn’t believe that I got someone to pay me to do what I love to do. “You call that work?” we would ask each other, and then we would laugh.

I retired from teaching back in June of 2019. I taught online for over two years, and now I am teaching part-time at the community college. I was thinking today, while I was at work, what a great job I have. I still love teaching. I am being paid to talk. I sure feel lucky.

My new job has kept me very busy, and I have had little time to catch up with friends and family. Things are beginning to settle down into a more manageable routine and I am hoping to catch back up with some friends. As COVID numbers continue to fall, I hope I can meet some friends for meals in restaurants. It is good to share a meal and fellowship together.

Actually, I have shared a meal with a couple of friends recently. We talked about our churches. We discussed our spiritual lives, family lives, and our work lives. We talked about health challenges we and our families are facing. Both friends talked about their children. Both guys really love their kids and are so proud of them.

In both cases, the meal ended but the conversation continued to flow like a river. We continued to talk about a variety of things. Both guys love Jesus and our friendship is anchored in our faith. The meal we shared is just an excuse to build and strengthen our friendships. Another thing that happens when you spend time together is that you learn better how to pray for each other and how to encourage each other. That’s the heart of fellowship.

There are several pictures and decorative items on the walls at my church that focus on the importance of gathering. There is rarely a sermon from our pastor when he doesn’t emphasize the need for us as Christians to be in fellowship with each other. We had a men’s breakfast recently, and it was a great time. The women have also gathered for fellowship.

COVID has kept many people from gathering. Justifiably, many families have avoided family gatherings or reunions for fear of spreading COVID. Unfortunately, isolation is not good for people. We need each other. We need to share our stories so we can encourage and be encouraged by each other. Life is hard. We all fall down sometime and need a helping hand.

The same thing applies to the family of God. There are times that we may need to stay home because we are sick, and that’s okay. We may need to be away from church because we are caring for loved ones and that’s okay, too. We do need to remain vigilant against COVID, but the fact remains, we need fellowship. We need each other. Being together helps us see that we are not alone in our daily struggles. Being together helps us encourage and challenge each other to keep walking the walk of faith, to keep pressing on when we feel like quitting.

Being together helps us know how to pray for each other. After spending time with my friends and knowing their hearts, I know better how to fight with them in prayer. I know how to support and encourage them because I know the battles they face. I can also rejoice with them about the good things happening in their lives. We can also spend some time laughing together. You know that laughter is medicine for the soul.

I want to encourage you to look for and take advantage of opportunities when you can be with your brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to be safe and considerate of other’s comfort level with gatherings. Thankfully, warmer weather will allow for opportunities to gather outside. I need my family and am thankful that we are close, but I need my church family and godly brothers and sisters in my life, too. We can pray for each other and encourage and challenge each other to a closer walk with God. United, we can help each other make it until that great day when He comes to gather us and take us to our eternal home.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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