koinonia - the coinage of community
The mark of Koinonia translates into words like “community”, “fellowship” and “participation”. It is the root word for “coin” which refers to coinage as everyday currency in common usage. Christian communal life – Christian koinonia – is every day community in Jesus Christ. It is the place where we practice loving neighbour and loving enemy. In the fellowship of fellow Christians we hurt and are hurt, learn to forgive and be forgiven. Sin and brokenness are no stranger to Christian life. This is no zone of perfection. Rather it is a flawed human community being saved by the amazing grace of God, not by our capacity to get life right. In Christian community we are invited to un-learn our proud independence and to re-learn the humility of mutual dependence. When Christian koinonia is in bountiful supply the church’s common currency includes the bearing of one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). The mark of koinonia is a reminder that the Christian life is necessarily social. For if God – the Three in One – is, by definition, a community then the glory of God is always shaping, forming, creating, intending and building koinonia. In a culture of increasing social isolation the church lives a counter-cultural alternative in which God calls into being a people being taught to love God and to love neighbour, a community called the church.