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OPEN: Once upon a time (as all good stories begin), a group of people agreed that they should spend each Sunday in the presence of one another. Many were not satisfied with the 6 or 8 hours each week, but also came together each Saturday for several more hours of fellowship.They did not count the minutes past sixty. Rather, with great conviction they said, "We've come for a purpose and will not leave until it has been accomplished - even if it takes all day." Then at the end of the day, they would cheerfully pledge to return next week.

Their commitment was thing of which to marvel, as it was not a passing fancy affected by the weather. They met winter and summer! When the spring rains came and when fall's chill was in the air, other people might be heard to say, "The weather kept me at home; I was unable to be present in my spot," but not the faithful souls of whom I speak.

Their sacrifices often involved more than time. They gave of their money (as the Good Book says), for their hearts were very much involved in the weekly gathering. Not only to buy gasoline - many came from great distances – but they would often part with significant amounts of cold, hard cash for that which seemed worthy of their attention.

Sometimes they would disagree with one another as humans are prone to do. Sometimes they spoke to one another in a less than courteous way, yet they would return week after week, for their purpose for assembling was far greater than their personal likes and dislikes.

Their persistence knew no bounds. Often their numbers were so large that there was not suitable convenient parking and they had to walk along a dangerous roadway.

Their faithfulness was something to write in hopes of inspiring others to heights of dedication. This is truly the stuff of which men and women of greatness are made!

I salute… "Mary's Weekend Swap Meet and Flea Market."

You thought I was talking about a church there for a moment didn’t ya??

And the reason that would have seemed so logical was because that’s how we all know a church is supposed to be. A true church is supposed to be dedicated to fellowshipping with one another. That's why the following words would have struck home for you:

“Many were not satisfied with the 6 or 8 hours each week,

but also came together each Saturday for several more hours of fellowship.”

These folks liked being together.

They liked it so much - that just one day was just not enough.

BUT

“Sometimes they spoke to one another in a less than courteous way, yet they would return week after week, for their purpose for assembling was far greater than their personal likes and dislikes.”

Even when they didn’t like other as much as they should they still committed themselves to gathering together because their purpose in gathering far outweighed any personal conflicts they may have had.

They “fellowshipped” and FELLOWSHIP is our word for today.

Fellowship is part of what makes a true church… a church


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