We are called out to be a living organism, building community together in love
The Love Feast is us being a unified people, a family reunion, and celebration of being knit together as one church.
Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
Read Jude 1:12-23
These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.
More thoughts for meditation
The “love feast” is an idea that is as old as the Bible. Our Anabaptist spiritual ancestors were such Bible-doers they reinstituted a special meeting they called the “love feast” to celebrate being the body of Christ. It was the meeting that reinforced their character as a unique people in a world trying to erode all their convictions.
We also do the Bible and we descend from Anabaptists. We also live in a world which erodes our character and undermines our sense of community. So we also have our own version of the love feast. It usually happens once a quarter. It is a very symbolic meeting and one of the few times we gather everyone in the whole church together in one place.
In today’s Bible reading, Jude is appalled at the audacity of uprooted, fruitless trees planting themselves in the middle of the love feast! Dead trees planted in the garden! The love feast is not that kind of place. It is the most alive place. It is for rooted, fruitful trees who are alive in the Spirit. It is for people willing to live with God in a restored creation.
In an era when people are somewhat rootless and carry around a private spirituality, the heart of our community represented by the love feast needs to be protected. Even more, it should be enjoyed: being unified in the Spirit, being family with Jesus, being knit together in God’s love! Wonderful!
Suggestions for action
Pray: Make me an ornament at the Love Feast: feeding others, full of spiritual rain, a fruitful tree.
We took the love feast out of public advertising for the most part so it was more organic. In some sense, you have to hear about it by word of mouth; the other covenant members make it happen. We want to stick together so we get together. The Covid-19 era is testing our sensibilities, isn’t it? We had to baptize people remotely and accept covenant members virtually!
In the meantime, ponder whether Jude’s extreme words apply to anyone you know, including you. Do you take people as seriously as he does? What kind of impact do you make on the community?