BY REV. DAVID MERRITT |
Most of us here in the south speak about Lovefeast Celebrations in tones reserved for other major church activities – holy communion, anniversary celebrations, or even chicken pie meals. But Lovefeasts can be a little adversarial too. I was shocked when in I was in Pennsylvania, our bun for the meal was a little more than a hunk of monkey bread. In Canada, there was a roll or some sweet bread and a cup of hot tea. And I understand that in the UK, tea and biscuits are the order of the day.
May I say then that no matter what type of bun you choose, a Lovefeast Bun by any other name is just as good. But to be true to my southern roots, I still prefer our buns (locally sourced) and of course a good cup of coffee, with just enough cream and sugar to make you smile. The food we serve at lovefeast demonstrates how similar and different churches can be – even in our denomination. It also points out the tendency to like the things that are familiar to one’s own history.
But as history reminds us, again and again, we tend to gravitate to what we know. Our traditions in the church can and should reflect the diversity of our current world. I would imagine a Moravian outreach ministry could be a food truck based on lovefeast buns that serves the more needy in our community. Maybe the Lovefeast could be re-imagined as a street corner service with something hot and something sweet where we sang familiar songs for the season. In my wildest dreams, I might imagine a Lovefeast to be a Caribbean music festival where steel drums, marimbas, and a dance troupe interpret a scripture passage in worship.
My hope is that as we interpret and re-imagine customs and traditions in our church that we take the best of our life together and offer it in a way that speaks to those in our communities. So, whether your bun is sweet or fruity, sticky or crunchy, it should remind us all of the love shown to us in Jesus Christ in the places where we live. In between what can be and what we have experienced lies the hope that God’s Love is real for us all.
Enjoy your Lovefeast celebration and sing a new song of joy as God is found in many ways. If you have to choose between two buns, always choose love!
Lovefeast by Sides, Newsome
See them lovely dieners comin’ down the aisle, Hear those coffee cups a clankin’ drivin’ people wild.
(Chorus) We’re gonna have a lovefeast, gonna have some fun, Slurping up that coffee, and gnawing on buns.
Good old Count Zinzendorf certainly wasn’t no fool, He didn’t get his sense of taste from going to no school.
Hear the choir a singin’ all the latest tunes, While everybody else is getting’ crumbs all over the pews.
Well now once a year, just about Christmas night, We pass out those beeswax candles, ain’t it a pretty sight?
Well down through the years, the custom might get old, But we still love our lovefeast buns, EVEN IF THEY’RE COLD!
About the author
The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grand-kids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.
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