Fellowship is a rich concept much deeper in meaning than we probably realize. In Hebrew the primary word for fellowship is šelem and it occurs 87 times in the New International Version (NIV). Only once is it used in the context of meeting with others (Psalm 55:13,14), in every other instance fellowship connects to God through the giving of a fellowship offering. The fellowship or peace offering in the Old Testament emphasized the opportunity the Hebrews had for close communion with God. This fellowship was consummated by eating the flesh of an animal presented as an offering to God (Leviticus 3 and 7:11-21). The peace offering meant that all was well relationally between Yahweh and His people and it was the last offering given.
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in a speech given in 1988 said: We are a nation whose ideals were founded on the Bible. Also it is quite impossible to understand our literature without grasping this fact. That is the strong practical case for ensuring that children at school are given adequate instruction in the part which the Judaeo-Christian tradition has played in moulding our laws, manners and institutions.
“The older man continued. ‘It has been my observation that just one out of ten who start out in full-time service for the Lord at twenty-one are still on track by the age of sixty-five’ . . . What makes you think that you will be the one man out of ten who finishes strong?”