Our church hosted our annual Thanksgiving Dinner, this year it was to over 200 people. It's in moments like these that you can see and hear the joy of community, neighborliness, laughter, conversation, friendships being born and authentic care being shared.
Jesus is most present at the Love Feast...the table of the Lord...is welcoming, indeed.
There is a fulfillment of the Old Testament year of Jubilee that is often tasted in the Kingdom of God expressed in the church assembled on mission. You can sense the freedom, the liberation and restoration emerging.
The poor have the gospel preached to them for sure...but its not a gospel of words only. If you stand in the midst of such a gathering and have eyes and ears to perceive...you can see and hear the gospel being lived. Love...God's love, being shared and experienced through hospitality, humble service, sacrifice, labor, serving, associating with the lowly, taking the lowest place, gift giving, listening, modeling, disciple making, evangelism, prayerful presence, Spirit infused, empowered and anointed people being and loving Christ.
The gospel is among us...the Kingdom of God is here and unfolding within us. His kingdom is dawning...for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. It's often heard in the gathered festival throwing people of God. Believers who know joy and celebration. They know how to party...because they were taught the party plan through the Ancient Festivals:
"Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish.
Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." -Deuteronomy 14:22-29