“And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life He promised us.” – 1 John 2:25
Growth groups can be loads of fun! Those of us who have been in growth groups know that while there is a great deal of seriousness in getting together to study God’s word, there’s also excitement in having opportunities to just relax and enjoy recreational activities with those whom we have close fellowship with in the body we call the church.
Last Sunday, this was highlighted by the Western Mississauga Growth Group who went on a quite involving game of Archery Tag – apparently the latest craze here in the GTA, which is kind of like Dodge ball and Paintball rolled into one, but using bows and arrows (with foam tips) – and a protective mask of course! Friends and family of this growth group got together [as a way of welcoming the new school year] in a frenzy and flurry of an hour-long tussle mimicking some kind of warfare but all in good merriment. I’d like to add that there were no breaks in-between to even use the washroom or have a drink of water! For an hour it felt like being in the Hunger Games movie! Some of us were ready to collapse even before it ended…
It looked really daunting and nerve-wracking at first as we watched the group before us playing the game. There was a hushed mood among the 24 participants in our group as we did some practice shots with the bow and arrow. It’s not as simple as it looks. Many of us are still reeling from bruises and body aches from the experience, but I would blame mine mostly from a lack of exercise!
Still, my family and I (as I’m sure the rest of us) were definitely blessed to have participated in what I would call a great fellowship-building exercise. I imagine the fellowship Jesus must have had with His disciples. In the New Testament, we see Him preaching in provocative tones, being serious about the message of sin and salvation. But we would be robbed of understanding His full humanity as indeed He came to us (John 1:14) if we couldn’t think of Him having laughter and light-hearted moments with those He came into close contact with. His full humanity and divinity would have likely made Him smile and laugh at the absurdities of the world during His time here on earth. Jesus, the divine revelation of who God is, having dined with the distraught and distressed, must have raised occasions to break out from the seriousness of life by taking time for some casual, carefree connections.
We all have trials and tribulations to deal with in life. Those with whom we share our lives and faith, who comfort us in our pain and sorrow, can also be the same ones whom we can build strong relationships with during times of restoration and respite. We are built together in both stretches of troubles and triumphs. Those who have especially committed their life to Christ have a tremendous capacity to enjoy life especially when they recognize the graciousness of the Saviour upon realizing the gravity of sin and its consequence. The fellowship we have with the Son of God and the joy of experiencing Him allow us to have fellowship with one another.
For the Christian, eternal life doesn’t just begin after we die. It begins right at the moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. For death is merely a transition to true glory and transformation into a glorified body that will never ache playing games like Archery Tag!
A growth group is a dynamic, vibrant place to praise, pray, and play!