Too often, you and I feel like “Donkey” from the movie Shrek.  In the first installment of that series, Shrek is trying to get rid of Donkey and asks him why he is following him to which Donkey replies (singing): “Cause I’m all alone, there’s no one here besiiiiiiide me…”  Ever felt that way?  Those words have been sung by more folks than just Bette Midler and Eddie Murphy!

I find homophones (when words sound the same but have different meanings) amusing – but especially homophones from different languages.  “All alone,” as the lyric from You’ve Got to Have Friends suggests, means there is no one beside you.  But in the Greek language of the New Testament, allelon has the exact opposite meaning as its English homophone, the phrase “all alone.”  In academic terms, allelon is the reciprocal pronoun that means “each other” or “one another.”  Here is how it is used in your New Testament:

Be at peace with each other.  Mark 9:50
You must love one another.  John 13:34; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11
Wait for each other.  Rom. 11:33
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Rom. 12:10
Honor one another.  Rom. 12:10
Have equal concern for each other.  Rom. 12:25
Stop passing judgment on one another.  Rom. 14:13
Accept one another.  Rom. 15:7
Serve one another in love. Gal. 5:13
Do not provoke or envy each other.  Gal. 5:26
Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13
Be kind and compassionate to one another.  Eph. 4:32
Do not lie to each other.  Col. 3:9
Encourage one another.  1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:25
Spur one another on to good deeds.  Heb. 10:24
Do not slander one another.   James 4:11
Confess your sins to each other.  James 5:16
Pray for each other.  James 5:16

 

This is what “every-member ministry” looks like!  When we all, simply as Christians, see the “one-anothering” of souls as our mutual opportunity and responsibility, we will be able to better experience the communion of saints in all of its biblical glory.  The Greek word allelon shows up exactly one hundred times in your New Testament.  Let’s commit ourselves to finding as many ways of giving and receiving this faithful allelon ministry – and I suspect that you and I will find our feelings of “all alone” distressing us less and less!

Your Pastor,
Bob Bjerkaas

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