“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
I keep thinking about what it means to be in partnership with someone – that is, to have ‘koinonia’ with someone. This special New Testament Greek word carries with it many English meanings and connotations – sharing, community, integrity, communion, contribution, participation, virtue, relationship, giving, partnership, bond, unity, understanding, brotherhood. Regardless of how this Greek word is used or in what context it is found, its essential meaning remains the same – experiencing integrity in community.
My last GriefShare group session was this evening. We have been meeting together for about four months. We are done with this first phase of group meetings – we’re encouraged to go through another session later together. I may do it next year. But here is the thing – we have easily and completely been in ‘koinonia’ these past few months. All the descriptors I used above apply to this group and the activities we did together. This was a safe place, a place of integrity and honesty, a place of communion and sharing, and a place of healing.
We closed this evening with a group prayer – we each participated. This was the first time we had done this – it was our final exercise. We were told we didn’t have to pray out loud if we felt unable or not ready. Fact is, every person prayed – from the depths of their emotion, heart, and faith. It was one of the most moving, provocative, and meaningful things that I have been apart of in many years. This, I believe, was an experience in true ‘koinonia’.
We parted ways this evening with the assurance that we each were safe with the other, that we would see each other again, and that we would be able to call on each other if ever the need arose. I look forward to meeting with one or all of my fellow voyagers again real soon. After all, it’s what people do when they are in ‘koinonia’.
Where can and should there be ‘koinonia’? Marriages, churches, families, friendships, and relationships, to name a few. As I have said before, this kind of relational integrity is as much about responsibility and boundaries as it is about feeding and being fed – essential ‘koinonia’ is as holistic an approach to maintaining healthy relationships as can be experienced by anyone.
And, of course, we can and should have ‘koinonia’ with God. We come full circle now from several articles ago (see Day 15) – in true ‘koinonia’ with God we give of ourselves completely even as God is giving us his ‘zoe’ life – the essence of God-life.
This is quite a spiritual arrangement – and this is why I have been focused on this mysterious and profound idea for quite some time now. In my grief – and if I am able to share in ‘koinonia’ with God – then God can and will relieve me of my pain and hurt with his ‘zoe’.
I’m getting it. Slowly.