“All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” —Acts 2: 44-45.
In her brilliant sermon on June 3, 2018, Patricia Matthews reminds us of the winning word in last year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee that weekend: Koinonia.
You can read Patricia’s sermon online at the website of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock, or listen to it on St. Mark’s Facebook page. Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani from McKinney, Texas, correctly spells this word of Greek origin meaning Christian fellowship or communion with God. It refers especially to fellowship with other Christians in community. Patricia reminds us that this 91st National Spelling Bee with the 515 participants who qualified was televised on none other than ESPN, a sports network on which we more often watch football or basketball or baseball or soccer!
When I heard the winning word that weekend and Sunday from Patricia, my heart skipped a beat. Koinonia had been on my heart for almost a week. Langley, our oldest granddaughter, had graduated from high school and was headed to the University of Georgia. I had been praying about how I could support her in this decision. The answer came as I was reading a review of two books about Clarence Jordan in The Christian Century.
I want to remind Langley about Mr. Jordan, who is perhaps one of the most outstanding graduates of the University of Georgia. His competency in Greek led him to produce his “Cotton Patch” version of the New Testament, as he strove to communicate the Bible’s message in everyday language. Jordan also founded Koinonia Farm as a farming community of believers sharing their lives and resources, following the example of the first Christian communities. Out of this movement came Habitat for Humanity International by Millard Fuller, and later The Fuller Center for Housing, as well as Jubilee Partners and much support for the Civil Rights Movement.
Also that Sunday after church a group of women met to begin discernment toward creating a Daughters of the King chapter at St. Mark’s. Daughters of the King also seek koinonia—specifically fellowship with other women who want a deeper spirituality and relationship to God through prayer, service, and evangelism.
I am going to keep koinonia on my heart for a few more days to see if I observe any more serendipitous connections of synchronicity in our world.
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