On the first Sunday of each month our church family enjoys a 'Fellowship Lunch' after the morning service. People bring food - some cooked, some cold - lots of desserts! There is always more than enough for visitors to eat.
Why do we make the effort to spend extra time together in general - and why do we use that time to eat a meal together?
The reason we provide an opportunity to spend time together is that when people are brought into a living relationship with God, they find they are unavoidably brought into a relationship with God's people. Our ability to love God and connect with Him, is organically related to our willingness to love God's people. Our love of God is inextricably bound up with our love of God's people. Christianity is not a religion merely of information, ideas, and beliefs - it is this - but also much more. Christianity is about growing in our love of God, together with the people God calls us to love and serve.
In a very real sense, we spend time with God's people because we are becoming more like the God who came to earth in Jesus, to be with His people. As we are conformed to the image of Jesus, we increasingly like, enjoy and value the things Jesus does. And one of the things he rejoices in most is being with His people.
There are however many ways we can spend time with people - lots of activities are communal. Why then do we place particular value on eating together?
The answer is that God has designed us such that eating with people is one of the main ways we develop relationships. As we eat we corporately acknowledge our dependance on the Creator who provides our food. Our conversation is seasoned with thankfulness. The time and effort taken to prepare and serve meals demonstrates love of one another. All this and more is why God in the Old Testament commanded His people celebrate his generosity and rescue by special meals, and why Jesus ate meals with people in the New Testament. As we look forward to heaven, one of the ways God helps us grasp the pleasure and enjoyment of being with Him, is by way of picturing the future world as a glorious banquet.
Visitors are always welcome at our services - if you happen to be joining us on the first Sunday of a month why not plan on staying for lunch? You will be very welcome.