Grapes and Marbles
Grapes and Marbles
“Christians can be grouped into two categories—marbles and grapes. Marbles are ‘single units that don’t affect each other except in collision.’ Grapes, on the other hand, mingle juices: each one is a ‘part of the fragrance’ of the church body. The early Christians didn’t bounce around like loose marbles, ricocheting in all directions. Picture them as a cluster of ripe grapes, squeezed together by persecution, bleeding and mingling into one another. Fellowship and worship, then, is genuine Christianity freely shared among God’s family members. It’s sad to think of how many Christians today are missing that kind of closeness. Sermons and songs, while uplifting and necessary, provide only part of a vital church encounter. We need involvement with others too. If we roll in and out of church each week without acquiring a few grape juice stains, we really haven’t tasted the sweet wine of fellowship.”
— Anne Ortlund, Up with Worship
The apostle Paul certainly knew what it was like to experience a Christian fellowship like grapes.
“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, and acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 4:14-19 NIV
Updated: Nov 16, 2011