Satiated from the feast!

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Yesterday we had our Interactive Feast. It was superb! We had more than enough food, people poured their hearts into making various dishes, there was generosity, there was fellowship, we read scripture, we glorified God in our love for one another, and I think we recovered a bit of the sacramental nature of eating. Here is the narrative we read to help us all participate in the feast and draw our attention to scripture:

Narrator: In the beginning God created the earth. He said,  

Reading 1: “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11-12) 

Narrator: Then God created mankind and placed us in his garden. It became good for us also. God said,  

Reading 2: “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)  

Narrator: We were sustained by his creativity.  

Reading 3: Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.(Genesis 2: 8-9).   

Narrator: All of creation’s living diversity was available for our life and only one restriction was placed on us.  

Reading 4: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17) 

Narrator: But we rebelled.  

Reading 5: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:6-7)  

Narrator: We became separated from God and his creation. What was to be joyful labour became burdensome toil.

Reading 6: “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’
       “Cursed is the ground because of you;
       through painful toil you will eat of it
       all the days of your life.
 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
       and you will eat the plants of the field.
 19 By the sweat of your brow
       you will eat your food
       until you return to the ground,
       since from it you were taken;
       for dust you are
       and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Narrator: What was once pruned and gathered was now forced and extracted. Our emphasis surely became the toil rather than the provision. The self rather than the Provider.Time passed and people spread over the land. Cities grew, nations formed, cultures developed. Eventually an exiled people found themselves captive to a nation and it’s ruler. Weighed down by forced labour, barely able to survive, their cries reached the heavens.

Reading 7: 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:7-8a)

Narrator: The – I AM – had been moved and would bring judgment upon the god’s of Egypt. A meal would be the way of his liberation. A Passover meal with instructions. Everyone in the community would participate. Preparations, sacrifice….all their senses, their bodies, their hearts. They would be ready for the Lord to rescue them from Pharaoh’s clutches. They would celebrate this meal again ~

Reading 8: for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD – a lasting ordinance.” (Ex. 12:14b)

Narrator: Time would not stand still. Cities grew, nations formed, cultures developed. Still, something was lacking. God was not fully with his people ~ his physical presence was missing. At the right time what was in the beginning entered the world. The birth of God’s son – Jesus – Immanuel – ‘God with us’ – changed everything. With parables about salt, sowers of seed, great banquets Jesus taught. The elements of a feast, a meal, where being reinterpreted. With ‘miracles & meals’ he touched the very needs & lives of the people. A wedding feast where water was turned into good wine. A miracle with a few fish and some loaves of bread – he fed 5000. Eating with sinners. Meals and long chats with his disciples ~ he reclined at the table. Now the time had come. The original ‘bread of life’ would link the beginning and the end through a supper. It would be a last supper. A supper in the midst of bickering disciples, with the one who would betray him, still another who would deny him, the others would scatter. The lasting ordinance was given new meaning. Symbolic? Supernatural? Difficult to say. He made it clear and ambiguous. The elements – the bread & the wine – were adopted, reinterpreted, given deeper, richer significance. Profound meaning was imparted into the supper. Jesus’ death and resurrection would make this supper even more profound and his disciples would remember and act it out as instructed.

Reading 9: After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  (Luke 22:17-19)

Narrator: Interestingly he ate with them before he went back to heaven.  On a shore he instructed them where to throw their nets. It was a miraculous catch of fish. They came ashore to a full cooked breakfast ~ how ironic that he would serve and sup with them again.And yet, the Alpha & Omega would return to heaven. He would come back as he had promised. His words are true:

Reading 10: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7)

Reading 11: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.” (Rev. 2:17a)

Reading 12: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

Reading 13: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,  

Reading 14: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  

Reading 15: He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  

Reading 16: He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Rev. 21:1-7)

Narrator: Here are the words I pass onto you EVERYONE RAISE A GLASS, TAKE A PIECE OF BREAD, ETC.

ALL SAY: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)

Narrator: Let us Feast!     

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