Paul reminds us that Christians must be in fellowship with the Messiah. The word koinonia means fellowship, but also partnership, communication, and communion. All of that and more is wrapped around our willingness to join our lives with the life of Jesus.
In both the Greek and Jewish worlds of the First Century, anyone who chose to follow a teacher—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Gamaliel, Yeshua—expected to live in the shadow of the teacher, soaking up all his knowledge and imitating him in all ways. It was not something to be taken lightly. It was 100% dedication.
The problem most of us face is the totality of true dedication. On the average, Americans are awake 112 hours per week. Forty of those hours (or more) are spent earning a living; thirty are spent watching TV; nine for Facebook alone; add sports, visiting, eating, caring for others, etc., and we have an hour or so to follow Jesus—every week.
So, how do we dedicate ourselves to our Teacher in the Twenty-first Century? Start with the largest chunk of the day: work. A follower of Jesus will choose to work at a job that is consistent with his teachings, but even that is difficult to determine. If my job provides for my family, I may consider it consistent, even if my job is robbing banks. I don’t think Jesus would agree. My job must help people without hurting people. Still, there are problems. Bringing coal and oil out of the ground provides the energy to power our cars and homes, but it also pollutes the land, air, and water, often making people sick and even killing some.
To be a servant is to work, play, eat, care, and commune in a way that respects other people; in a way that seeks to help, not hurt. We must consider the options of every choice we make. If I spend an hour fishing, that is an hour I might have done a thousand other things. If I eat fish, it is at the expense of the poultry, pork, and beef growers.
If I fly to Haiti to help build a school, it is at the expense of a Haitian who could have been hired to do the work I did. In fact, he might have been paid the $400 or so I gave to the airlines to get me there. A short term mission is a good thing, but it is always at the cost of other good things.
We make such choices every day. Let us be aware of the costs, both to us and to them.
Be righteous and do good.