I found this information about the history of the "Circle of Friends" from candles.lovetoknow.
My new circle of friends candle holder is not one of these Mexican mayan styles, but I do have one of those too.
Friends gathering together, sharing with one another, sharing their hearts, speaking of the good qualities of one another and remembering times shared. These are important things for us to do and for us to be for one another.
Friendship is a high calling. Today I read something that caused me to chew on the difference between friendship and fellowship:
"While it's wonderful to have friends, fellowship is a higher calling. Friendship proceeds from the soul and is based on the emotion, while fellowship proceeds from the spirit and is established on God's kingdom. What passes as "fellowship" in some churches is usually just friendship." ~Kent Crockett
As I mentioned, I'm chewing on this distinction. I hear the author's distinction, yet I am not so sure there is such a defining difference. Both friendship and fellowship proceed from deep places within, according to the author, but fellowship is founded on God's kingdom.
Does that mean for the author that friendship cannot be founded on God's kingdom? I don't think the author is going there. It seems that fellowship is a higher level of relationship and not all people or churches truly attain it.
I think the author is also saying that at times because of the emotional investment in friendships, we in the churches will compromise the true fellowship of God's kingdom and kingdom priorities. (I take this from this quote and other writings in the book.)
Friendship is a wonderful blessing.
Fellowship is an added blessing. When I think of fellowship, I hear "fellowship sweet" ringing in my mind and go seek and find the lyrics to "Trust and Obey".
Trust and Obey
- When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
- Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
- Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
- But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
- Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Friendship or fellowship? As I reflect on it, my thoughts are that it doesn't necessarily stop with "or", but can become a "both/and".
It is truly when we as followers of the Way, as followers of Christ live into this way of living of trusting and obeying that we have true fellowship with our Creator and one another.
May you be blessed on your journey with a circle of friends to share life with, to share your heart, and to share fellowship with as well.
Blessings on your journey,