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Journalist emphasizes importance of fellowship

This is the second article in an opinion series about journalist Carston Saelzler’s, ’21, 12-day trip to Israel, Nov. 26-Dec. 6, 2018. In this article, he discusses the ancient community he learned about in Israel and how it can be woven into current daily lives. To read the introduction to the trip read, COLUMN: My experience in the Holy Land of Israel.

Carston Saelzler | The Feather Online

A partial reconstruction of a Jewish families house in ancient times located in Qatzrin

Are we missing out on a richness in community that people in ancient times depended on? As I walked through the walls of the ancient city Qatzrin, these are the words I took to heart from The Well Community Church pastor Mike Slayden.

Slayden, who has preached at The Well for 15 years, graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2001. I took away three things from his message: 1) Community in ancient times was more than just a group of people. 2) There is richness found in relationship. 3) This world is broken and now is the most critical time to build a strong community.

But first, some background.

Qatzrin is located in the Galilee region of Israel. Known for its olive production, Qatzrin was populated by religious Jews. The population is unknown but the village was probably very small, between 500-1000 people. Here I saw a partly reconstructed ancient Jewish village, a wheat field, an olive press, and a synagogue. Text in the Bible on Qatzrin can be found in Mark 2:1-12.

But those are not the points that affected me on a personal level. Point one: Community in ancient times was more than just a group of people.

In ancient times there was no electricity, future technology and automobiles, but people were around. There were families, villages, cities, communities and they relied on one another to survive.

Campus students volunteer throughout the community to serve others during FC Serve Day 2018.

There was no privacy, your problem was my problem and together we could fix it. I saw an ancient Jewish house and there was only one room, and that was normal. Boys in that day would go out into the fields and work with their father. They would be brought up in his trade and learn what it meant to be a young man of Yahweh and to serve him.

Young girls worked in the house with their mothers. They would learn at an early age how to take care of a family and grow into a young woman of the time.

At the end of the day, the children would come inside and listen to their grandfather teach the history of their nation, Israel. Neighbors helped each other because it took a village to survive. Eventually, those children would grow up and build a house for their spouse and start the process over. The process of community would begin.

Second point: there is richness found in relationship. The phrase the “simple life” comes to mind. What would it look like for people to slow down their lives and take time to invest in a relationship? Invest in a child that needs a mentor. Invest in a fellow student that says they are fine, but on the inside, they are a wreck. How could our world change for the betterment of others if I took the time to have a conversation with an antagonist whom I disagree with? Try it and see what happens.

Third and final point: this world is broken. Selfishness reigns in a place where humility and goodness were designed to. Just look at America. It promotes self. Whatever makes you feel comfortable, do it.

All for what?

Carston Saelzler | The Feather Online

An ancient Jewish synagogue (place of worship) located in Qatzrin.

Community is still needed in today’s world not just for comfort, but for survival. Let us go back. Go back to a time where the idea of a family supporting each other was one of honor. To a time where the “simple life”, was something wanted. And finally, to a time where selfishness was outlawed and a servant’s heart replaced it.
This topic of community brings my school to mind: Fresno Christian High School. I cannot stress how important it is to have a solid group of friends in high school. A group of friends is a community. As friends you should always be encouraging, uplifting and supporting, always pushing each other to greatness but staying humble.

1 Corinthians 1:10

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Thanks to The Well pastor Mike Slayden for sharing knowledge on this topic.

Carston Saelzler can be reached via email.
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