Tonight was a family bar-b-q at our house. Mama, Sister in Law & I cooked side dishes, Dad grilled outside. Friends and family arrived right on time. The preparations were still being made, so while we waited, we sat around, talked, laughed, enjoyed each others' company. It felt like family - even the one couple that wasn't family. It was as easy as breathing and felt perfectly comfortable to be surrounded by people I love.
At the dinner table, there sat 4 couples, and two single gals. My parents, married 40 years, my brother & wife, married 10 years, our friends, married just about 3 years (with a baby on the way), and my other brother & wife, married just 2 months along with one of my single girlfriends and myself. The concept and ideas of marriage, love and knowing each other were discussed. There was so much wisdom being shared, extended and love dispensed among the couples, even to us single gals. It was a beautiful time. I love these moments of real fellowship.
Scripture exhorts us to not forsake the gathering together in fellowship. I think, so often, churches and Christians in general get tied to their denomination, theologically compatible friends, or other members in their own body and forget to seek friendships in other places. Each person at the table are in different stages in life and marriage, each one has a different background, and various church affililations to bring to the table (literally). But to sit around and share a meal, laughing, and talking together, you'd have never known it. There was geniune love, geniune care, and sweet fellowship for every person there.
When my friends left, I sent a message to the wife and said "it felt like family was surrounding me." She agreed. I love having family around...and I also love it when my friends fit in like family. It's quite a beautiful thing, and I think that it might be exactly the kind of fellowship that honors God in simplicity.