Twelve Days of Thanksgiving
K is for Koinonia
Day #5 of Seven Days of Thankful Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving: the act of giving thanks; a prayer of gratitude to God.
Koinonia: community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. Koinonia can therefore refer in some contexts to a jointly contributed gift.
Let me be honest with you; I had a hard time with this word. It left a bad taste in my mouth. When I first learned about Koinonia it was not like it was explained to me. Church uses it as a way to get people to come together in small groups because Koinonia is the way Jesus wanted people to be. Unfortunately, and I’m saying this from my own experience, Koinonia is all well and good as long as you are in the small group and participating. As long as you are in their face, Koinonia is great. But the minute you miss a meeting or become AWOL, your Koinonia is over.
I know the old saying of “You have to be a friend to have a friend”. But in my experience I’ve found that more people will let you be their friend, more so than they want to be one. I’m sure you have experienced it. Most people would tell me I have to give them the grace that they need, but I don’t look at it that way. Don’t use the need for grace as an excuse to be a lazy friend, relative, companion, etc.
Koinonia can be a wonderful thing in its context. “Jointly contributed.” It’s not one-sided and it’s not out of convenience. It’s not all about the church either. I have more Koinonia with my un-churched friends than I do with the Christ followers. It’s what you have when you come together with family and friends during the holidays, and you share with each other.
Who can you extend the act of fellowship with this Thanksgiving? Don’t wait for someone to come to you, go to them.