April 6, 2020 - Love Feast
When I woke up this morning the Love Feast was still resonating in my heart and mind. Because we were not able to celebrate the Last Supper together on yesterday, Sunday, we participated in a Love Feast. I asked myself this morning this question, "When was the last time you sat at the kitchen table with family in a structured and organized time of feasting, praying, singing, reading scripture, giving testimonies, being in informal conversation, etc.?" It took me back down memory lane when I was a child and we were required every Sunday to gather around the table for a time of focusing on those things relative to God and our spiritual growth. I can remember each one around the table attempting to be the first to share a Bible verse before all the others were taken. Remembering how you focused on how God had blessed us. It was indeed a fond reflection. I had to laugh to myself when I thought about my dad, Deacon Leonard Slade, praying on Sunday mornings. As the folk in the south would say, "He could send up some timber." We would always become anxious to eat because of his long prayers. Now I can appreciate more than ever my dad's prayers. I believe to this day that it was those prayers that got us through tough times.
Yesterday's Love Feast in my home was powerful. I appreciated my wife, one daughter and me at the table singing, feasting, sharing our stories, reading scripture, giving thanks to God, praying, etc. One of the outcomes for me was to hear my daughter say, "Thanks for inviting me to the table with you guys." It provided an opportunity for us to listen and pick up some interesting things going on in the life of our children and us. It was a time of honest sharing and family worship.
I wish to thank those of you who on yesterday shared the positive impact the Love Feast had on you and your family and friends. I am sure all of our experiences were different, but I hope your time of sharing was a blessing. Think about it, a designated time in the home, for singing, praying, reminiscing, etc. while enjoying a meal and praising God.
If you were to refer to each of the gospel readings: Matthew26:20-30, Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22: 14-30 and John 13: 21-30 each suggest that the Eucharist was in the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. We have been taught that the Eucharist in the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, at which he is believed to have taken bread and given it to his disciples, telling them to eat it, because it was his body, and to have taken a cup and given to his disciples, telling them to drink of it because it was the cup of the covenant in his blood.
Each name we use for the sacrament brings out a different meaning. It is the Lord's Supper because it commemorates the Passover meal Jesus ate with his disciples; It is the Eucharist (thanksgiving) because in it we thank God for Christ's work for us; It is communion because through it we commune with God and with other believers. As we eat the bread and drink the wine, we should be quietly reflective as we recall Jesus' death and his promise to come again. (Commentary)
The Love Feast on yesterday was different, but we are living in a time in which we must make adjustments and live differently. For me this was an opportunity to understand that this is not a time of "business as usual." I do not know what scripture you used for your Love Feast on yesterday, but today I refer you to 1 Corinthians 13. This is a time that we can show our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, how much we love them by doing something very simple as a sign of love.
As we journey through this Holy Week, may we stay focused and look to Easter Sunday morning. It is my prayer that we will on Easter Sunday morning and there after resurrect from this crisis we are presently experiencing with covid-10 (coronavirus).
Take time today to let someone know how much you love them.
These are very challenging, awkward and unsettling times. With that said, we are now required to do things differently and we must modify our thinking. Change is difficult, but these are difficult times and we must make some behavioral adjustments. We were blessed on Passion/Palm Sunday to be able to participate in a Love Feast rather than a regular communion service. Please click here to view the instructions for the Love Feast. You may wish to orchestrate a Love Feast with family and friends in the future.
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor