Uh oh. Tonight is a special bring-and-share ‘love feast’ gathering at our church. Normally I enjoy this kind of thing. But since yours truly has been
working hard on a proofreading job obsessively researching DSLR cameras generally somewhat distracted of late, my dinner-and-dessert contribution towards tonight’s meal is currently… still under construction.
I know that the idea of a love feast or ‘agape feast’ probably sounds a bit strange to those out of the loop with church jargon. But it’s just a shared meal to celebrate as a church family something important – in this case, Easter: the time we rememember Christ’s sinless life, His sacrificial death and (praise God) His victorious resurrection. The love feasts are meant to be done in the same spirit as of those old first-century saints who gathered together regularly to share meals and worship the Lord.
So, something worth putting in effort for, right?
Except that I haven’t.
And now I’m in a flap to get things ready. And when I’m in a flap, I tend to do unsaintly things.
Such as freeze my jelly pudding to try to rush the setting process. And then forget the jelly in the freezer, only to take out a bowl of raspberry icicles an hour later. Which I then proceed to whisk into wobbly pink foam, believing that the other guests will prefer a childish pink mousse over frozen icy jelly.
OK, so that’s my dessert half done, and back in the fridge to set. I plan to tastefully cover that delightful pink mush with a thick layer of irresistable homemade custard. Hopefully the brethren won’t think twice when I say that my dessert is “just plain ol’ jelly and custard”.
Of course it’s just typical that I think about what to make for dessert first.
Now for the meal. We’re supposed to bring enough to feed ourselves and share the rest, but it’s not clear how many will be seated at our table to dip their spoons in our dishes. On the one hand, I don’t want to seem miserly by arriving with too small a portion. But on the other hand I can’t afford to create a lavish supersize dish to feed the 5 000!
So I’ve decided to make an enormous potato salad with special extras such as cheese, tinned tuna and toasted sunflower seeds. I know it’s not exactly a balanced meal, but at least it’s vegetarian 😉 And if it’s not quite what the church leaders had in mind, here’s hoping the spirit of forgiveness will pervade our love feast this evening…
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.
~Proverbs 15:17 ~
Jokes aside, though, my biggest concern in all this is that I’ll get so worked up about making a meaningful contribution to the dinner, that I’ll miss the point of the celebration altogether. Just as we so easily get carried away at Christmastime, believing it’s more important to bake fruit pies and prepare roasts than it is to focus on the reason for Christ’s birth.
And Easter is an especially precious time for Christians because if Christ had never died or risen again, our hope for salvation and the forgiveness of our sins would be void. So this is not the time to become distracted with superficial tasks. If we do nothing else this weekend, may we pause to consider the Saviour. The only God who reached down to man instead of expecting man to reach up to Him. May we remember why He came to earth. May we learn from His life, be humbled by His death, and be thankful for His resurrection.
Bless you all this Easter!