Awe came upon everyone, because of the many wonders and signs being done by the Apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common.
This is two verses from the book of Acts, in the early days of the believers gathering together and forming what we would call churches. It speaks of fellowship and partnership. It speaks of everyone having a part to play, everyone being together – in Spirit if not in person. And it strikes me now as vital to the way we journey forward in difficult and uncertain days ahead.
I don’t know whether you have managed to work Zoom yet, or been using skype or facetime to be in contact with others. Maybe you’ve only done one-to-one or maybe you’ve been online where there are too many for one screen. When Seeing many familiar faces – it helps me to remember that I am part of something bigger. Even during online church services, when messages are pinging on the page and hearts and smiles are sailing up the screen, it reminds me of the fellowship we have with each other.
And Fellowship means relationship – celebrating when others succeed, sending hugs when others are low – and our relationship is a partnership between us and our faith to see everyone succeed regardless of age, stage or ability. Even now it is vital that we remind ourselves that wherever we are and whatever we are achieving, there are many people supporting us, cheering us on, caring for us. We are not alone but together.
And our Partnership is with our God who calls us to minister in His name and share His love. Today is the Feast of St Matthias the Apostle, chosen by the original apostles to replace Judas Iscariot. He was chosen a little like we all were chosen – scrutinised for what he knew and what he could share, prayed for and prayed about and selected to fulfil a role that he was then supported to succeed in.
Today I challenge you to be like the early apostles: To remind yourselves of the fellowship, the relationship and the partnership that we are in; To recognise that as we support others so others are praying and supporting us; and As we pray today so others will be holding us in prayer too – the Great Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). And awe came upon everyone because of the many wonders and signs being done.
‘Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and all that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith’
May your cheerleaders, supporters and fellowship of friends be close to you today.
May you feel the prayers of those who hold you close to God.
And May we – in Partnership with Christ Jesus – succeed in everything we seek to do in His name. Amen.