Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
Family Koinonia Dinner 4 21 12
My mother-in-law, my wife, my daughter, and myself were present for this family Koinonia dinner. Our dinner started off with my daughter reading a passage from the bible. She chose to read from Mark 10:13-16- And they took to him little children, so that he might put his hands on them: and the disciples said sharp words to them. And when Jesus saw it, he was angry, and said to them, Let the little children come to me, and do not keep them away; for of such is the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, Whoever does not put himself under the kingdom of God like a little child, will not come into it at all. And he took them in his arms, and gave them a blessing, putting his hands on them.
We did not offer commentary on the reading, though we might in the future. It was enough that my daughter wanted to share in the family koinonia dinner by reading something from the bible, a tradition I think we will build upon.
I asked my Mother-in-law to lead us in prayer but she thought we should all take turns, so, since I have led all the other dinners in prayer (save for last week, when Mumzy led that extraordinary prayer that touched on all the seven devotions) my wife led us in prayer. She prayed for our gathering, for Nela, for Grandma (Mumzy to me), and for me. Then, before we actually ate, we gathered around Nela, laying hands on her. I explained to my wife and Mother-in-law that this laying on of hands is what the body does to send people out to do a ministry work and also to confer blessings on people, spiritual blessings. Today, I explained, we are laying hands on Nela to confer spiritual blessings on her (through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit).
We then gathered to break bread. We explored our Spiritual walk the past week, with Mumzy sharing how she has enjoyed the daily devotions Nela has been sharing with her and how she is opening up her bible to read more on what Nela shares with her every morning.
After some fellowshipping, centered around our Christ service, I read a scriptural passage that was for Mumzy, showing her the significance of prayer in the body of Christ:
Luke 22:24-34 And there was an argument among them about which of them was the greatest. And he said, The kings of the Gentiles are lords over them, and those who have authority are given names of honour. But let it not be so with you; but he who is greater, let him become like the younger; and he who is chief, like a servant. For which is greater, the guest who is seated at a meal or the servant who is waiting on him? is it not the guest? but I am among you as a servant. But you are those who have kept with me through my troubles; And I will give you a kingdom as my Father has given one to me, So that you may take food and drink at my table in my kingdom, and be seated like kings, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Simon, Simon, Satan has made a request to have you, so that he may put you to the test as grain is tested: But I have made prayer for you, that your faith may not go from you: and when you are turned again, make your brothers strong. And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death. And he said, I say to you, Peter, before the cock's second cry today, you will say three times that you have no knowledge of me.
I came back to verses 31-32- Simon, Simon, Satan has made a request to have you, so that he may put you to the test as grain is tested: But I have made prayer for you, that your faith may not go from you: and when you are turned again, make your brothers strong.
Jesus had to say a prayer of intervention to protect Simon from Satan’s temptations. Simon, or Peter, who was the cornerstone of that first gathering of Christ followers in the first half of the book of Acts, needed prayer from Christ himself to protect him from the temptations of Satan.
I was making Mumzy’s role, as she has actually been fulfilling it in the kingdom, more visible to her and encouraging her to be even more intentional, deliberative, and connect with other members of the body in prayer. This led to concerns Mumzy had about people in her life, spiritual concerns and health concerns. We prayed right then and there, with Mumzy leading, and my wife leading.
Mumzy has great concerns over the salvation of her husband, who left the family over 20 years ago, and so I encouraged her to connect to my wife daily, who also has the same concerns, to pray for him as Christ must have prayed for Peter. I am seeing these Christ-centered connections between our little family members growing deeper and deeper, more intentional.
We then talked about salvation in general. Mumzy expressed a belief that if people are good then they go to heaven. I showed her through scriptures that salvation is earned only by accepting the invitation of grace Christ extends to us. We who love Christ and obey him through that love, born from our belief in His salvation and ONE TRUTH are saved, never being able, through good deeds, to earn our way to anything.
I know we will come back to this, but hearing Mumzy express this, having been in a women’s fellowship group for 40 years, connected deeply to her church for that same time, reinforces my concern that church life alone is no guarantee of a deep growth in our understanding of our own faith and the teachings of Christ and His Apostles. Only through deep, koinonia connections with other members of the body of Christ will we come face to face with our assumed truths and the Truths of Christ. As we share our faith, and grow in our Christ-centered connections, the light shines deeper and deeper on those previously unreachable places. We make light what is dark.
I thought about this emergence of darkness to light, as I have many times when I thought about connecting and sharing the Kingdom with the body of Christ as a whole. There is a cost to be paid, and our family is paying in will pay deeper. The unknown becomes known, which brings to the surface long-forgotten memories, issues, traumas families so often hide from and avoid talking about.
But I have faith in His truth, that through this pain, as I see it begin to emerge, great peace and rest comes as we lose our flesh parts and gain the new life of Christ within us, a little more each day, in connecting as a family rooted in Christ and His teachings.
I was very sad to not have my sister-in-law there, but have faith in God in His plan. We, Mumzy and I, had opportunities to connect that we would not have had if my sister-in-law had been there (this would be reversely true if Mumzy was not there and my sister-in-law was). We prayed for our missing family member and kept an open seat for her to signify she was still a part of our family koinonia dinner in spirit.
There was lots more that happened last night, but I don’t feel compelled to share EVERYTHING, just the parts that might help you see the power of living Koinonia with those you love, extending the kingdom right there in your living room to the people God has put directly in front of you.