The Magic Door and The River Jordan that was right night next to the dish rack.
I have been to two absolutely amazing "house" fellowships. One was in an alleyway that had a fake roof covering the gab that was open between two factories. From the air it looked like a continuous roof, - sort of. When the door opened, I had Bibles stuffed in my pants and taped to my legs. So, the door, just slip open. When I walked in a man, I think, was wearing a bag, and he pointed to the left, and I just walked "that way." Lol. Then, another man pointed down a hall, also to the right, and another magic door opened.
I went into a dusty old room and the door was shut behind me. Two men were there, with one behind, all wearing the same kind of bag.
I took off my pants, tore off the tape that was holding the stash of NTs that were the cargo, and turned around and the other chap opened the door. Back tracking to walk out, and hand pointing to the left was an invitation to sit and pray. Everyone was covered one way or another. No one showed their faces. I prayed with them for about 20 minutes, then got up, and headed for the same door I came through. I made it a point to always stare down and look no one in the face.
That ... was the most amazing fellowship I have ever attended.
The second most amazing fellowship was in a major city that I won't name in Iran. It was in a home and they asked me to help baptize someone in a plastic kitchen wash bowl in the kitchen. Beautiful music and the sharing of food. Nobody knew anybody's real name.
Philemon 1:2, "... και τη κατ' οικον σου εκκλησια," and to (those in the) the gathering in your home."
Εκκλησια, or in the letters of the Romans, ekkleisia, in Hellenistic Koine Greek never referenced a building. They used the world "synagogue," which curiously is neither Aramaic nor Hebrew, but is actually Greek. Based on "syn" (συν-) "together" + "ago" (αγω). See Matthew 4:13 and Mark 1:21-28. In Matthew 4 and Mark 1 Jesus didn't teach "in" the εκκλησια, ekkleisia, but he " .. went to the synagogue." Most of the English translations have it correctly. That Greek behind Matthew 4:13 and Mark 1:21-28 is actually "synagogue." Nobody gives it much thought, but that is neither Aramaic or Hebrew. It is Greek.
"Εκκλησια" in Philemon is a "gathering." That's it. The word in Greek is closer to our English word "party" than the Byzantine usage meaning a huge domed thing with pigeons on top with Italian vespas parked around it everywhere. The Oxford English - Greek L&S is the best English - Greek dictionary there is, and it does in fact cover NT usage.
Don't let the title scare you off.
God bless you!
Timothy Yeghian, Alaska0 0 0 0 0 0 0