KOINONIA – some of you hopefully recognized that word when it was spelled correctly by 14-year-old Texan Karthik Nemmani to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee last week. Koinonia is a word that I repeat in my benediction each week to the puzzlement of visitors and perhaps some of you, a word that graces the pages of Scripture again and again, a word that is difficult to translate into a single English word. The adoption of koinonia by English from the original Greek seems appropriate since we can’t find a better way to say it. At its heart, koinonia is communion, fellowship, and participation together. Wikipedia doesn’t always get it right, but its description of koinonia is well stated: “Koinonia identifies the ideal state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ.” It is that glue that binds us together in community with one another and with the saints across the ages. It is the active work of the Holy Spirit in our midst, calling us to be in relationship with one another and with God.
This week we will welcome Sarah Wolf into our Covenant family as our Associate Pastor, and how we welcome her will say something of the strength of koinonia in our midst. Welcome her with open arms. Share your name with her again and again for she has 460+ new faces to try to connect with a name. Listen to her story and share your own story with her. Extend to her God’s grace and love, so that through you she may experience what is offered in my benediction each week: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the koinonia of the Holy Spirit!
John Peterson