It's All Greek To Me - Koinonia
Here is another word you need in your vocabulary.
KOINONIA - (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) is the Greek word for fellowship, community and communion. It is a close relationship by which you are willing to invest your life into someone else as a gift. You will share your joys and trails. Have common interests and goals. This relationship will overrule your pride and individualism. Therefore, you will find it easy to share with generosity. (Acts 2)
While I really don't doubt that people can and will love (agape) one another. I find that koinonia is a challenge for most. Imagine with me a relationship with another person that isn't sexual but it is close. It isn't formal but it definitely exists. It isn't casual but it is serious. You might think that you have that kind of relationship with your spouse or a parent and you would be right! But the thought that there could be others in your life whom you would think of in this context may seem foreign to you. Yet that is what we find in the church of Acts 2.
Koinonia was highly honored and respected in that culture. When you accepted the responsibility that you were in a community of koinonia you went beyond words and were required to move into action! Actions still speaks louder than words doesn't it? I think for the American church today, embracing koinonia is tough. It's a two way street. You give but you also have to receive. I know many people who can do one or the other, but very few I find that can do both with grace. Yet the church in Acts 2 did do it!
I'll admit that koinonia is risky. People are going to find out stuff about you that you probably don't want them to know. But when you let people get close to you, that's what is going to happen whether you like it or not. Now when you combine agape with koinonia the risk factor decreases greatly. Why? The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. That doesn't mean that Christians look the other way when someone sins. It means that regardless of whatever is happening, we will still love them. It isn't a lack of love that ends a relationship but it is a a lack of koinonia that brings them to an end.