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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Christian Fellowship

I have had second thoughts about blogging about the book of Revelation, so I cancelled the ”tour.” Perhaps I will write a book about Revelation someday.

I have been reflecting on the unparalleled fellowship believers enjoy. Sure, members of various organizations enjoy fellowship, but Christian fellowship transcends time; it will continue in heaven and last an eternity.
The hymn, “Blest Be the Tie,” celebrates Christian fellowship. It begins, “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.” The story behind the writing of this hymn displays the jewel of Christian fellowship as well as a black velvet cloth displays the exquisite beauty of a sparkling diamond.
In 1772 John Fawcett loaded his belongings onto horse-drawn wagons and was about to leaver the small English village of Wainsgate, where he had served as pastor of a tiny congregation. He had accepted a call to be the pastor of a prestigious church in London. However, before he left Wainsgate, he witnessed a simple act of devotion that changed his destiny. The members of his congregation stood around him and wept because their beloved pastor was leaving. This display of affection touched John and his wife so deeply he unloaded his belongings and notified the London church that he had decided to stay in Wainsgate.
Ten years later, John Fawcett wrote the hymn, “Blest be the Tie,” to commemorate that 1772 event. He spent the rest of his life ministering to the little flock that loved him so dearly.
I became a pastor in 1958. Many of the Christians who called me “Pastor” back then have gone to heaven, but some who are still living keep in touch with my wife and me. Other church members of more recent times also keep in touch. Like the Energizer Bunny, our fellowship keeps going and going and going.
Last Sunday, I was a guest speaker at a church in Denver. Before preaching, I opened the church bulletin and read: “North Federal Baptist Church welcomes Dr. Jim Dyet to our pulpit. Jim is not a stranger here because he is part of our extended church family.”
“Family—that’s what Christian fellowship is all about. God is our Father, Jesus is our elder Brother, and we believers are brothers and sister. We belong to a forever family! Blest be the tie that binds!

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers” (1 John 3:14a).

© 2007, Jim Dyet

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