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Snapshots of Fellowship

Snapshots of Fellowship

With sleepy eyes adjusting to the light, Isaac stands in the corner of the crib reaching his arms to me and says, “See Charlotte?” He’s only been awake a few minutes, but wants to find his sister. I pick him up and place him on the floor so he can run into her room, “Charlotte, Charlotte! I come up!” He flings himself on her bed and pulls the blanket over them both as they lay together, their bodies touching and their smiles wide.   

 

*****

 

“Go in peace, serve the Lord. Thanks be to God!” With those final words I know my job wrestling and wrangling two kids during worship is over. I’m tired and they’re tired of being in the pew so I tell them, “Okay, go now.” And off they run to greet their friends. Sometimes it’s a high five, a shy shake of the hand, or a hug. Other times it’s chasing one another up and down the church or running up to the sacristy to find the leftover plate of communion bread and grape juice and the voices of the altar guild who say: Eat, we saved this for you.

 

*****

 

We’re gathered in a circle with hymnals on our laps. No one is left out, no one feels alone. One voice opens the song and we all follow. Soon we’re singing with our eyes closed and hearing the individual voices of everyone around us. We all know the words. We sing united. Hearts and minds and souls joined together. 

 

*****

Children and adults of all ages line the street. A constant hum of voices and laughter can be heard. Children run in the middle of the street, taking advantage of the closed road. A family walks down the sidewalk pushing a stroller and greets friends and family. There’s no rush and nowhere else to be. A man waits in line at the fair stand, buys two burgers, and brings one to a friend. It seems that everyone in town can be found on this street waiting for the parade to begin. It seems that everyone has a person to share in conversation with or a new friend to get to know. As the sun sets taking the heat of the day with it, the streaks of red and pink line the sky, casting a beautiful glow on the community. 

 

*****

 

In front of us empty plates and bowls scatter the table while the candles have burned down. A plate of chocolates sits in the middle for dessert. Children’s voices can be heard in the next room playing trains and making mazes with books. The conversation around the table includes recounting memories, laughter, and hopes for the future. Stomachs and hearts are full. There are no phones and no to-do lists, only time to look one another in the eye and share in this moment.  

 

*****

 

What are your experiences of fellowship? Where have you felt peace and welcome? Where have you offered someone a place to know they belong? 

 

Go through your day and search out those places of fellowship. Revel in being welcomed. Invite someone to the table and create your own snapshots of fellowship. 

 

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook

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