Fellowship of the Knights
Have you ever noticed how the ancient seal of the Knights Templar shows two knights riding one horse? This shows the fellowship of the knights, something we should strive for and cherish today. “Fellowship” is defined as the condition of being a fellow; friendly relationship or companionship; a community of interest or feeling; an association of persons having similar interests; a company, guild or corporation. These are the ordinary meanings of this special word. Certainly The Supreme Military Order of the Jerusalem Temple fits all of these criteria. The word used to convey the idea of “fellowship” in the the Greek texts which comprise the Bible is the word koinonia which literally conveys the concept of “communion, fellowship”. The root of the word koinonia is koinos meaning “common or ordinary”–shared by all. It is derived from the proto-indo-european root *kom indicating “near, with, together.”
Fellowship is much more than a warm human interchange or a group of individuals finding that they have something in common, or that they enjoy each other’s company. Fellowship transcends mere relationship, and not all relationships include fellowship.
Says one author “The word ‘fellowship,’ as it is found in the English Bible, is a translation of the Greek word koinonia….there is more to it…fellowship is not the only way to translate koinonia.” The author points out that the word is also translated to carry the concept of “participation” and “sharing.” This brings to mind that the concept of “fellowship” is more than just enjoying the company of other humans, it is being so “near”, so “with”, so “together” with others of the fellowship as to experience a much deeper level. Fellowship is participating together in the life of each other through the union of spirit. Fellowship is sharing our commonalities to the deepest possible level of human relationship–our experience of God.
While human relationships leave us open to hurt, to misunderstanding, and inconvenience, the illumination of the spirit of God can transcend these human frailties and draw humans closer to God and closer together. This is fellowship at its finest. Sometimes the illumination of the spirit comes as a quiet “voice” that the soul realizes, but it just as easily comes as an audible voice of other humans communicating the truth of God through their voices to our ears and heart. In “fellowship” those closest to us are not easily likely to allow others in the fellowship to ignore the urgings of God. In a true fellowship we belong to one another and we are called to help one another along our journey in this life.
Fellowship is a means of getting to a place where God will meet us. Here are some ways “fellowship” may put us in a place to more readily meet with God.
As a group, and as individuals, take the time to pay reverence to God. Taking the time to together declare the worthiness of God is a means of experiencing fellowship with Him. Through meditating upon, exploring the truth of, giving thanks for the blessings of, and sensing the presence of God in our lives, we exercise our common beliefs and strengthen our connection with God and with each other. In case you were not aware of it, by definition this paying reverence to the divine being is termed “worship.”
As a group, and as individuals, ask for spiritual assistance for each other and for the fellowship as a group. To “ask” is to express a wish or a desire. When we express our wishes or desires for one another in a fellowship we can draw closer together in our trust for each other. We each can draw closer to the God when we focus upon expressing our desires and wishes for each other. Yes, to ask or petition for one another is called “prayer”.
Closely associated with asking, is to carry one another’s burdens. Every one of us has burdens. When we take the responsibility of communicating our burdens with each other, the others will have a concept of just what to ask of God. Burdens are not just the challenges of life, but also include the inner conflicts we all face–our fears. Facing our fears together as a fellowship helps make the burden a bit more bearable, and helps members of the fellowship know better how to support and assist one another.
Also closely related to this concept are the concepts of sharing our spiritual experiences, and sharing our failures. These might be conceptualized as sharing our highs, and our lows with one another. Sharing our spiritual “highs” reinforces our experience and may help others in the group to become aware of what they may encounter in life. Sharing our spiritual “lows”–the points where we feel that we have failed to measure up–can help us in many ways. It may serve as a “reality check” showing us that our standards may be impossibly high. It may serve as a motivator to remember to improve; it may serve as a reminder of what not to do in the future. By the way, sharing our “spiritual lows” is known by the term “confess”, meaning “to acknowledge, or admit.” Every one of us humans must acknowledge and admit that we fail at times. Not one of us has EVER experienced 100% of our lives going 100% correctly 100% of the time.
There is a concept in the arts–correcting the less experienced. In learning an art the areas of weakness, and the areas for improvement in an artisan’s work must be pointed out to them, otherwise they will not learn and their art will not grow. In a fellowship the members work to point out areas for improvement to each other so the not only the individual, but the group grows stronger in its spiritual growth. In the martial arts the phrase is “steel sharpens steel” indicating that one’s metal weapon is NOT improved by using a material less hard than the one being sharpened. By working to constantly IMPROVE, both the individuals AND the fellowship as a group are made closer.
As a group, and as individuals, make use of the spiritual gifts that have been provided to you by the divine. Use these spiritual gifts to help others in their growth towards God. If the fellowship is together participating in spirit, serving each other with our spiritual gifts is a obvious indicator of fellowship.
Service to each other is another attribute of fellowship that is closely allied to making use of our spiritual gifts. In order to serve each other within the fellowship we must know what each other needs. We can only know what each other needs through the focused desire of seeing to share, to admit, to correct, to serve, to learn, and to help those within our fellowship.
True fellowship is a work of the spirit. True fellowship is not merely a matter of relationship, but it a heart matter that aims to draw the individuals closer together and both the individuals and the group closer to the divine.
Fellowship is a matter of the heart.