This is what I and guest bloggers (!) are excited to write about in this new blog series here at Gentile Next Door.
Koinonia is a spiritually-rich Greek word used in the New Testament that could generally mean fellowship, participation, sharing, and communion. It can mean sharing of material things with an attitude of considering others' needs before one's own. According to Bill Mounce, in other contexts koinonia could refer to
...the sufferings of Christ (Phil 3:10), the fellowship of the Spirit (2 Cor. 13:13), the participation in the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharistic celebration (1 Cor. 10:16), and the sense of “partnership” that Paul and the Philippians had in spreading the gospel (Phil 1:5; note that they helped fund Paul’s mission work, 4:14–19; cf. also Phlm. 6). By contrast, we should have no fellowship with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14). John uses koinōnia to refer to the Christian fellowship we have with one another (1 Jn. 1:3, 7). This fellowship is centered in and based on our common fellowship with the Father and his Son, Jesus (1:3, 6). (Mounce, Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words)
I love how the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines koinonia as the bond of common purpose and devotion that binds Christians to one another and to Christ. I found this quote on Tumblr by Brian Zahnd which I believe expresses the essence of koinonia:
You cannot be a Christian by yourself.Christianity is inherently communal.You cannot be baptized by yourself.You cannot receive Communion by yourself.You cannot “love one another” by yourself.Christianity is not a set of internalized beliefs.Christianity is the shared life of Christ.Truly is it said, “One Christian is no Christian."
The series will not really "end" but will run for as long as anyone wants to write. It is open to you :) If you would like to participate, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below with your email. I will send you a brief word study of koinonia to provide you with a more in-depth definition of the word. I hope it blesses you and encourages you to dive deep into Scripture and appreciate koinonia's meaning. (I'm grateful to my fiance Carlo for putting together the word study! Thank you for being ever so supportive of my blogging endeavors.)
Please email your entries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org along with a profile photo, a blurb about yourself, and any social media links you'd like to promote.
I'm thrilled to have Ali and Kelly share their hearts this week. I've read their entries and I'm excited to post them for you.