John 13:1: Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John introduces the final scenes of Jesus and His disciples, the Upper Room discourse, with these words. Jesus assembles His disciples to give them His final instructions and assurances. Loving His own who were in the world, He loves them to the end.
And He expresses His love for them by gathering them to an upper room to share a meal. Jude makes a passing reference in his letter to the "love feasts" of the church, charging that there are men who are blights on the love feasts. Whether he is talking about the Eucharist or not, it is an apt description. Loving His disciples to the end, Jesus gathers them for a love feast, a love feast that we continue to share every week. This meal is a feast of love, the feast that celebrates the Father's love for the Son, and the Son's obedient love for the Father. It celebrates the Father’s love for us, and our love for Him, and our love for one another.
The table is the center of worship. When we gather for worship, we gather to share a meal. At the meal, we talk to one another, and God our Father addresses us. Sometimes He addresses us severely. But He always addresses us at this table.
And this should set the pattern for our families. We need to rebuke and correct our children. We need to train and discipline them. We need to cause pain. But all this discipline and correction should be like the discipline of our Father. It should all take place in a house of feasting, at a table, at a love feast.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 08:02 AM
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