Sunday, July 20, 2008

Soul Feasting

I've been blessed this weekend to have two evenings of fellowship. On Friday night, I went out to eat with a dozen or so others to celebrate a friend's birthday. At my end of the table, I ended up sitting with a dear friend, plus a few others from church who I only really knew in passing. Dinner changed that, however, as we soon found ourselves engaged in deep theological discussion during much of the meal. While the food was good, the conversation satisfied me even more, as we exchanged ideas and opinions and respectfully challenged each other at times.

Last night provided another opportunity for a feast for my soul, as I gathered at a friend's home with several other good friends to scrapbook and enjoy dinner and fellowship. Once again our thoughts kept returning to spiritual matters. I left feeling extremely full in both stomach and soul.

I'm struck by how closely fellowship and food are tied together. Not that we can't have deep Spirit-led conversations in a calorie-free setting, but there is an intimacy in sharing a meal with someone that is not the same as just sitting on a park bench. Whether at a restaurant or at someone's home, whether over a home-cooked meal or a delivered pizza, the act of dining together satisfies more than just basic stomach hunger.

Think about how often meals are used in central ways in the Bible. The Israelites celebrated many feasts by God's command, the most important one being the Passover, marking His deliverance of them from the hands of their enemies. Jesus' very first miracle took place at a wedding feast. At His last supper, He used elements from the Passover--the breaking of bread, the drinking of wine--to serve as memorials of His death and resurrection. He could have chosen anything to symbolize this, yet He used a meal.

Throughout the Bible, meals were more than just a brief re-fill on carbs and protein. They were opportunities to be hospitable, to share generously, to remember important events, to celebrate. And certainly to fellowship.

I'm so thankful that my view of what "church" is has changed over the years, and is no longer limited to what happens at the church building on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. I think I experienced a lot of "church" at the table this weekend.

1 comment:

That Girl said...

So many times we now eat meals in front of the TV and we don't talk. Today I had a meal with good people and even though the TV was in the background, it may have been the only time we really talked to each other all day!