Celebrations for Beginners by Laurence Windham
"Practicum" from Every Thought Captive, Vol. 4, Issue 6
I read this on Saturday as we were preparing to have our first Sabbath feast the next evening with our good friends from Liberty Hill. God was so gracious to us as we prepared for this time of feasting and celebration of the His goodness of bringing this precious family of seven (going on eight) into our lives a year and a half ago.
We had learned of feasting during our visit to Saint Peter Presbyterian Church. One of the families (well, actually four, but I'm focusing on this one event) invited us over for dinner during our stay. Our six (mother-in-law included) joined their five and another mom and her two blessings (dad was travelling on business) for a delightful evening of feasting, fellowshipping, bible reading, hymn singing, desserting (did I just make that up?) and spiritual warfare!
Charles, our host, told us of the significance of feasting here on earth, where we are but aliens. Our citizenship is in heaven, where we will be the honored Bride at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. And while what and how we celebrate here is only a shadow of what is to come, we engage the battle against the enemy of our souls when we act "on earth as it is in heaven."
We hemmed in our feasting by giving thanks before and after the meal. Reading "Evening Praise" from Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotionals, Charles lead us in thanking God for the meal we had just completed. Then every man, woman and child raised his glass of wine (red, to symbolize the blood of the One Whose feast we're preparing for) and toasted our Host, our hosts and one another.
As we were planning our feast, I called Charles and asked him the name of the book (as I'd forgotten at that point) and he stated that there was also a "Lord's Day Evening" prayer that I might be interested in reciting for our meal which was to take place on the Sabbath. This one I was not able to find online...
But, God provided it.
As we were leaving Lord's Day worship Sunday morning, my wife noticed that on the cover of our congregation's announcements bulletin, was the "Lord's Day Evening" prayer from Valley of Vision. Thanks, God!
Having read Laurence's article and seeing that he mentioned an article his wife had read in a "recent" Credenda/Agenda, I sought to find that article. Not only did I find "The Sabbath Wedding" by Douglas Jones, but I printed it and read it several times before our feast and plan to put many of its suggestions into practice in our home.
Inspired by both articles, we set about to make this a memorable feast! Our home was not set up for feasting. The "dining room," in conjunction with the front "living room" is being used as a library/homeschool/play room; we "dine" at the kitchen table. For our feast, we moved our sitting area (two lounge chairs, table and lamp) into the kitchen; and the kitchen table (3'x5' rectangle with two windsors and two benches) into the library. We put one leaf into our "homeschooling table" and placed the oval and rectangle tables end-to-end, covering them with tablecloths. We set out candles, a center-piece of pumpkins, gourds and silk autumn leaves, and used our wedding china and crystal (all five place settings; the children had plastic plates [note to self: finish out china and crystal patterns]). I also picked up a "Bagpipe Classics" CD at Wal-Mart, which played low on repeat all evening.
Also in that issue of Credenda/Agenda were several quotations regarding the Sabbath. The poem by George Herbert, which was last on the page, grabbed me and we openned our evening as I read it to those gathered in the house. Only then was everyone invited to the table.
What a blessed time we enjoyed with one another and our Lord! We can't wait for the next feast we may be privileged to host! In fact, we're leaving the furniture the way it is...
Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Reading at 10/26/2004 09:54:02 AM