We have recently enjoyed two heart-warming events which have combined a faith element with a significant social aspect. I am referring to our Burns Night Evensong and supper (24 Jan), and our Plough Service and supper (7 Feb). Many thanks to Willie Crawford who is our inspiration for Burns Night (see elsewhere for a reflection on Burns’ faith), and Andrew Hollinshead, Peter Stewart and Donald McDonald who provided the plough. Also, grateful thanks to all those who worked so hard to prepare for these events, to provide and serve the food, to tidy up afterwards.
Sharing a meal is a powerful way of building community – a community which is always inviting new people in (as in the parable of the King who sent out his servants to the byways to invite everyone in)
Jesus was a friend to all. Eating and drinking played a huge part in his life.
Christians rightly make the sharing of meals an integral part of their fellowship. They enact Jesus’ fellowship.
In fact hospitality is a recurring theme in God’s story throughout the Bible. Though humankind deserves famine, God demonstrates his faithful love to undeserving people through abundant feasting. Isaiah summarises this:
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined…”
Taking it a step further, in our Communion Services Jesus is the gracious host and participant so we have fellowship with God and each other. We anticipate – even join in with – the banquet in heaven.