This liturgy was shared by my wife Karla at our dinner table this past weekend and also with our church family in our home Sunday morning. It’s found in a book series entitled Every Moment Holy and also available for download on their website www.everymomentholy.com. The series focuses on liturgies for every day life. A reading such as the one below can be a great exercise for a simple church community to share together. In this “liturgy for feasting with friends,” a picture of what simple church gatherings can be is painted in the opening sentence–a picture that I think is worth imagining. McKelvey suggests that “feasting and all enjoyments gratefully taken are, at their heart, acts of war.”
It is certainly true that when we gather we are building one another up and encouraging each other for all the battles that lie ahead in the coming week. Yet, McKelvey points out that a celebratory, joy-filled feast among friends, which I very much pray that simple church gatherings can be, is in of itself an act of war against the enemy.
Perhaps share with your church family and discuss this question: In what sense is a joyful gathering an act of war? Share your thoughts with us below as well. May you be encouraged by this reading below.
A LITURGY FOR – Feasting with Friends
COPYRIGHT © 2017 DOUGLAS MCKELVEY (Download From Their Website HERE).
CELEBRANT: To gather joyfully is indeed a serious affair,
for feasting and all enjoyments gratefully taken are, at their heart, acts of war.
PEOPLE: In celebrating this feast we declare that evil and death, suffering and loss, sorrow and tears, will not have the final word.
But the joy of fellowship, and the welcome and comfort of friends new and old, and the celebration of these blessings of food and drink and conversation and laughter are the true evidences of things eternal, and are the first fruits of that great glad joy that is to come and that will be unending.
So let our feast this day be joined to those sure victories secured by Christ,
Let it be to us now a delight, and a glad foretaste of his eternal kingdom.
Bless us, O Lord, in this feast.
Bless us, O Lord, as we linger over our cups, and over this table laden with good things, as we relish the delights of varied texture and flavor, of aromas and savory spices, of dishes prepared as acts of love and blessing, of sweet delights made sweeter by the communion of saints.
May this shared meal, and our pleasure in it, bear witness against the artifice and deceptions of the prince of the darkness that would blind this world to hope.
May it strike at the root of the lie that would drain life of meaning, and the world of joy, and suffering of redemption.
May this our feast fall like a great hammer blow against that brittle night, shattering the gloom, reawakening our hearts, stirring our imaginations, focusing our vision
on the kingdom of heaven that is to come
on the kingdom that is promised,
on the kingdom that is already, indeed, among us,
For the resurrection of all good things has already joyfully begun.
ALL PARTICIPANTS NOW LIFT THEIR GLASSES OR CUPS.
May this feast be an echo of that great Supper of the Lamb,
a foreshadowing of the great celebration that awaits the children of God.
Where two or more of us are gathered, O Lord, there you have promised to be.
And here we are.
And so, here are you.
Take joy, O King, in this our feast.
Take joy, O King!
GLASSES ARE CLINKED WITH CELEBRATORY CHIME, AND PARTICIPANTS IN THE FEAST SAVOR A DRINK, ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER HEARTILY WITH THESE SINCERE WORDS:
CELEBRANT: All will be well!
PARTICIPANTS TAKE UP THE CRY:
All will be well!
Nothing good and right and true will be lost forever. All good things will be restored. Feast and be reminded! Take joy, little flock. Take joy! Let battle be joined!
Let battle be joined!
Now you who are loved by the Father, prepare your hearts and give yourself wholly to this celebration of joy, to the glad company of saints, to the comforting fellowship of the Spirit, and to the abiding presence of Christ who is seated among us both as our host and as our honored guest, and still yet as our conquering king.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, take seat, take feast, take delight!
FOR WE DO NOT WRESTLE AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST THE RULERS, AGAINST THE AUTHORITIES, AGAINST THE COSMIC POWERS OVER THIS PRESENT DARKNESS, AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES. EPHESIANS 6:12
COPYRIGHT © 2017 DOUGLAS MCKELVEY
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS LITURGY, VISIT; WWW.EVERYMOMENTHOLY.COM