“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate." Luke 15:22-24
Some might be tempted to wonder, "Why would you give up church for a Sunday to have a meal in the park?"
It may surprise you that eating together as believers is just as Biblical as worshiping together! Often the two activities happen together! Both are powerful parts of a healthy and growing fellowship.
Actually, we will do both tomorrow!
But the tone of the church is to be one of celebration and joy! That tone should permeate both the worship and the fellowship.
Last Sunday it certainly did at FredWes! There was joy in the sanctuary! And it happened for the same reasons as in the Parable above! Lost sons had come home!
I believe that will carry over as we gather today under the pavilion in the park! I pray that becomes the norm at FredWes no matter where we meet! That is our heritage and our DNA!
As we learn the five healthy habits and they actually become habits we learn to live out we will "love people to LIFE" and regularly have reason to celebrate!
Worship is more a function of who we are than where we are. God shows up anywhere and everywhere His people are prepared to meet with Him!
As we are reminded of the spiritual impact of eating together why not make a commitment to cultivate the habit of eating together with at least three people every week for the purpose of evangelism and fellowship.
Let's come prepared to MEET for worship and then EAT for worship!
Let's not just label it a Summer Sunday Celebration let's make it one!
"Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:44-48
Jesus and I have at least one thing in common. We have both led people to a personal faith decision over a meal.
Meeting for a meal to discuss faith is an effective way to share your faith in Christ. It was a common strategy for Him. It needs to be more common for me.
You ought to try it some time if you haven't yet.
Meeting over a meal gives you common ground with anyone because everyone eats. People generally arrive for a meal in a good mood and conversation is easier than usual.
Nearly all important meetings happen over a meal. Sales meetings often involve a dinner. Interviews often happen over a meal. Staff meetings can happen during a lunch. Dates almost always happen with a dinner. Award ceremonies are hosted around a dinner.
Don't underestimate the power of eating together!
When you share a meal together there are good social connections that develop during the discussion that is shared during a meal.
In addition to good social connections that form during a meal there are strong emotional bonds that can form while eating together. Many a friendship began or grew deeper while sharing a meal on a regular basis.
Spiritual bonds can be formed or deepened over meals. We see Jesus leading people to the table for the purpose of reaching them with faith.
Never underestimate the power of the table! Jesus didn't! He made the most of meals and meal times using them to form bonds of friendship, bonds of fellowship and bonds of faith! Anything that has that much power and influence in people's lives should be used to love people to LIFE! Will you give Jesus a chance to work through you over a meal? Will you establish the habit of eating with at least three people each week?