This community celebration during Holy Week includes a hearty lunch, engaging fellowship, lively singing and an inspirational message. We will gather each day starting next Monday through Friday, March 26-30 beginning at noon and spend about 45 minutes together. The event will be hosted by TBD.
Each day a different church will be providing the meal and devotional message: Monday, the Methodists; Tuesday, First Baptist; Wednesday, the Presbyterians; Thursday, The Grove; Friday, the Anglicans. The devotional messages will be connected through the passion of Christ and offering different insights into the unfolding story of God’s love at work in the world. Each message will complement the others during the week to connect the Gospel message of hope.
Sharing a meal around a table with family and friends is one of the most renewing experiences we have in this world. Some of the best memories I have held close to my heart since childhood are of having extended family gathered around the table. Some of those gatherings were typical Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations with “blood” family.
Other memories were of family that was bound together by God’s love sitting around the table at Fellowship Dinners. These gatherings reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses from Psalm 133:1 (KJV)
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is a bold statement that is simple, yet deep in meaning. As in many other places in the Bible, the Hebrew term brethren encompasses extended family relationships. The message of Psalm 133 reminds us that community unity is a joyful, even a holy, thing. We are blessed to live in a community of faith where together we are reminded that God is with us.
Psalm 133 is appropriate for the season of Easter during which we celebrate the reality of a life-giving power that both transcends and transforms human efforts and human structures: the resurrection of Jesus as a demonstration of God’s love.
In a world that often seems divisive and antagonistic, gathering together in the love of God is good news. Hebrews 13:1 (CEB) encourages us to,
Keep loving each other like Family.
The whole community is invited to join us like family for a day or the whole week for lunch, fellowship and spiritual growth. You will be immersed in God’s love and renewed by sharing time with encouraging brothers and sisters. As we grow in love, our hearts are encouraged to reach out beyond the walls of our lunchtime “sanctuary” and touch others with God’s love.
Donations for lunches are accepted but not required. All proceeds go to the Ministerial Community Fund that goes to serve the underprivileged in Swain County.
~adapted from Pastor Wayner’s 4-6-2017 article in the Smoky Mountain Times.