Sowing Those Quaker Oats (THE FIRST PART)
Posted on September 11, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” — 1 John 1:6-7 (NASB)
So, the guy who is on my container of Quaker Oats oatmeal apparently is not William Penn anymore. According to my research I found out that the “Quaker Man” is now referred to as Larry. As a matter of fact, it seems that the whole advertising scheme was a way to have folks believe that this brand of oatmeal was pure and wholesome, perhaps like a Quakers lifestyle, and therefore should be the main staple of your American breakfast. It also appears that the Members of the Religious Society of Friends group (or Quakers for short) are frustrated with being associated with my container of Quaker Oats oatmeal. Imagine my dismay on finding this truth out after eating the stuff for over fifty years now.
Now you may be wondering “what does this have to do with the opening passage of Scripture of today’s Freedom Fighter?” I’ll be happy to answer that. I am researching the subject of fellowship and while doing this I stumbled upon the Quakers and that got me to William Penn and that got me to oatmeal. All this lead me to think, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Yeah, its funny how I can find that in a bowl of oatmeal but God uses the simple to confuse the wise, anyway.
There’s this Greek word that you may only hear in Christian circles. The word is koinonia. It means fellowship, it refers to community, it stresses that fellowship is a gift and it appears about seventeen times in the New Testament. Koinonia isn’t some fancy word that Pastors use during their Sunday morning services to impress us, au contraire, they use it to impress upon us the need for right fellowship with God and with each other. It’s the whole characterization of Christ’s church. It’s one of those words that is not only a noun, but a verb. Where there’s no fellowship there’s no action. It’s just that simple and yet just as complex.
Where friendship says ‘I accept you as you are, with all your flaws’, fellowship is meant to take us up the ladder to a more divined sense of unity. The Book of Acts described what this looks like, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Because of this tightly knit fellowship, “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” (Acts 2:43) There was a very evangelical thing about what they were doing because, as you continue on in read you’ll find this…
“And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their numbers day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)
This, my brothers and sisters, is what “κοινωνία” (koinonia) looks like. I bet if we were to take our bowls of Quaker Oats out into the community to do what exactly what this illustration of the early church looked like, we could put the face of Jesus Christ on our container of oatmeal and not have a debate over whether it should be either Billy Penn or Larry…. just sayin’.
I got me some more research to share with you all on what fellowship is and what it is meant to be for us, but for today let me leave you with these spoonful’s of brown sugar to flavor up your oatmeal. If you know who Jesus is and why He came then you can tell folks “what we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3) and, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Phil 3:10)
Ultimately, we want to be like the apostle Paul, finding ourselves saying this to those who we fellowship with as an encouragement, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The ultimate goal of fellowship…to be Christ-like. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 200
Daily Quote: “Fellowship means among other things that we are ready to receive of Christ from others. Other believers minister Christ to me, and I am ready to receive” — Watchman Nee
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. — Proverbs 29:20