Each week we host a delicious Sunday meal based on Acts 2:42, 47 called GraceFeast. Its purpose is to gather together a wide spectrum of folks to enjoy a meal, create positive relationships, and cultivate community together: The religious and the nonreligious, haves and have nots, young and old, gay and straight, left wing and right wing, serving each other and being served.
From the beginning of time, eating has gathered people and created community. Throughout history, religious festivals, whether pagan, Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, have included plenty of eating. The feasts acted like a welfare system. A few days of festival feasting helped distribute the wealth of the community; something especially important for those who had little. In religious Jewish communities, each meal is still a moment of worship in which two things happen simultaneously: 1) God concretely demonstrates God’s generosity (by providing food and life) and 2) those who share the meal are unified in receiving God’s generosity and giving thanks to God for it.
One of Jesus’ most radical acts was eating with sinners, making no distinction, but associating God’s generous blessing with the godly and the ungodly alike. He instituted the Lord’s Supper (a Christian ceremonial meal of bread and wine) to let the world know he is still alive and still blessing the godly and the ungodly by eating with them.
The first Christians continued open “table fellowship” as an act of worship. Not only did they celebrate the Lord’s Supper at their gatherings; they also shared a meal with all comers. The meal was often called an Agape Feast (“Agape” means “unconditional love” in Greek). Sharing their goods with any and all was merely an extension of their worship in Jesus’ name. GraceFeast continues the tradition of mixing sacred gift with community connection.