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Tuesday, 03 July 2012 21:17 Written by 

Food, Fellowship, and the Christian Experience

I believe there is a special relationship between food and fellowship in the Christian experience.  The way God set up high holidays to honor Him and remember His deeds He had his people do it with a feast. Then someone would retell the significance of what they were celebrating.  There must be a thousand different ways God could have had us remember and honor what He did for His people.  But He chose to feast and fellowship in joy, then recount His ways.  What a wonderful God we have.  Jesus promoted Himself as the Bread of Life.  His first outing with His disciples and His first recorded miracle was to make wine for a wedding feast.  His greatest miracles were to feed huge crowds.  On His last night He spent it at a dinner with His followers.  At it he asked us all to break bread and drink wine while remembering Him and to do it as often as we eat. At that dinner He vowed to fast until we were reunited at, what? Our wedding feast with Him.  When He rose from the dead He was recorded to have a meal with His followers three times, including the last time before he was lifted up and away on a cloud. 

We believe Jesus set church up this way on purpose.

In people's homes, with everyone contributing to the dialogue as one leader guides the conversation. This way there are multiple witnesses, of Jesus' Spirit influence over their lives, making Him more real and attainable for others. Sermons given by one person while everyone else is silent has its place, but it doesn't bind people together or promote giving expression to everyone's own experience with Jesus in their lives.  When everyone gives their own witness of Jesus in their lives, it causes them to be more accountable and promotes real life changes, as well as having a convicting effect on others.  It makes everyone feel connected and more intimately attuned to the plight of others; causing them to make their lives bigger than themselves---showing compassion to each other.  It puts people on equal ground. 

When you are a Christian living life by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you have a whole different outlook, motives, and world view.  It therefore becomes essential to have opportunity to interact and converse with like minded others in light of this new "world-view".  The reason being that people interact with like minded people. This promotes the re-framing of one's thinking, ideas, responses to circumstances, and conversations to line up with this new world view.  Thus bringing on rapid change in the person's Christian walk causing a real paradigm shift in one's heart and perception. 

If you are a Christian and you only have opportunity to relate to and converse with people who have the world view of the spirit of this world, what happens is for the sake of being able to relate to them, you will continue to frame your thoughts, ideas, responses to circumstances, and words in a worldly way. Thus, making it hard---near impossible---to evolve into that new creation. 
   
Furthermore, church is supposed to be done in the celebratory atmosphere of sharing a meal as practiced in the first-century.  This not only makes church a wonderful bonding experience, but it also makes evangelizing so much more easy---"Hey, why don't you come for dinner to meet this really caring group of people who will not look down on you or judge you?"

Also, Love Feasts should be done daily and networked at different homes.  This is so that any individual can find a place to be nurtured and learn to function and relate to others according to this new world view resulting in the re-framing of their way of thinking; making it easier to see things in a new light; making it easier to change their behavior and attitudes, giving them a new environment that doesn’t promote the old sinful life-style.

We believe Love Feast is one of the factors which made the gospel spread so fast in the first-century.  We believe that returning to the Love Feast is the Lord's plan for the end-times.  The way of the mega church, where there is little accountability, has seen its zenith and will collapse giving way to how Jesus instructed us to have church in the beginning---Love Feast---not home churches or small groups (although they too have their place) but Love Feast.

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