Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
By Patricia Todd
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It is the love of God that draws us closer to Him and, at the same time, closer to one another so that we really care for each other. So, if my brother or sister in Christ is hurting, then I am hurting too. If I see them in need and I can help them in some way then I reach out and do so. It may be through offering them a lift in the car, inviting them for a meal or providing hospitality. It may be just taking the time to listen to them and perhaps to pray with them. There are so many ways that we can show that we care for other people.
Over the past ten months I have been involved in helping to lead worship services in a couple of local prisons. This is a work in which I felt God wanted me to become involved and I joined with a team of others who travel down from London to visit in our local prisons. From the beginning I knew a unity with them even though they were all strangers to me. We come from quite a variety of different nationalities, ethnic groups and backgrounds and our day to day lives are very varied. Most of them live in a large city whereas I live in a small town. They travel down to our town on a Saturday afternoon and then we have a fellowship meal somewhere. That is a good opportunity to get to know some of them better although the actual people who come vary from one time to the next. Two or three members from the team stay at my house.
On the Sunday we go to the prisons to take the services. There we are made welcome by the prison chaplains and also by the prisoners who attend the services. They are genuinely pleased that we have taken the time to come and share with them. Time and again men say how much it means to them.
In the service everyone contributes in some way. Someone opens in prayer and another leads a time of praise and worship. We have a Bible reading and someone shares a song or a poem and then we have an address. Everyone brings what God has placed on their heart to share and it is amazing how it all fits together.
After the service we spend some time talking to the prisoners. Some of them are already christians and some express a desire to come to know Jesus. It is wonderful to hear how God is working in their lives and to know that a poem or a song or a reading that was shared spoke to them and let them know God's love for them in a deep and meaningful way. When we were last there one man told me how much it means just to know that they haven't been locked away and forgotten by everyone. He said that he will be looking forward to the next time that we come to share together in fellowship with them.
To me that is what the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is about as we share with others what God in His goodness and His mercy has blessed us with. Let us live our lives as an encouragement and a blessing to others.
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