Last night we gathered for our first love feast. We met at Glorianna’s home and set up tables in her gazebo and back yard. The weather was perfect and the people began to arrive at 7pm. I had expected 10-14 people to show up and feast with us. Instead there were about 24-28 people.
Before we began the there was a small introduction to the symbolism of the feast as a pre-figuring of that great meal we will eat at the Table of the Lord. We sang a song of invitation that asked Christ to share with us as we celebrate his work on the Cross through food and fellowship. Glorianna then lit a candle that served to remind us of Christ’s presence in out midst and we broke bread together and helped ourselves to the food.
Aside from the initial emphasis, the meal did not feel like a communion service or especially sacred even though it was an expression of our communion. The feast was an ordinary meal made sacred by the presence of Christ at our gathering.
Sitting at the end of a table observing the conversations, body language, and smiles of those gathered I felt a great joy and peace welling up in my soul. From the looks on everybody’s faces, they were feeling it too. Great food and great company made for a wonderful evening.
While standing in the food line as everyone was getting seconds, Dora expressed her joy by saying, "We should do this more often." She said while helping herself to more shrimp fettuccini. "I love large gatherings of friends…" after a moment’s silence she said, "no, you all are more like my extended family." I agreed with her sentiment and then asked her if there was more fettuccini left.
"Family" I thought, what a great description of the intent of the feast. Gathering together as God’s people; His extended family.