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Today we are going to see a few examples of God’s hospitality in the Bible and be inspired by the King himself. But first, I want you to imagine yourself in a small village in Germany. It’s a cold evening and you drive up the driveway to an old foreign castle. As the car parks, you can see glimmers of light dancing in some of the lower windows.
 
You exit your vehicle and remove your luggage from the trunk and think to yourself, “So this will be my new home?”
 
As you continue towards the old doors, you wonder who is in there? What are the people like? What do these next months have in store for you? There is an uneasy feeling in your stomach because of all the unknowns.
 
Reaching the ornate front doors, you push the ancient iron knob to open and cross the threshold. The moment you set foot within the entrance delicious fragrances of roast poultry, steaming hot vegetables and fresh bread greet and envelope you.  Immediately, your mouth begins to water.
 
You keep walking through a great big doorway into a giant dining area full of candles and long tables. All the people you were wondering about are clustered in different little groups around the room and around the table. Many of them there for the first time, and equally nervous as yourself.
 
The host stands and greets everyone and invites you all to sit. Multiple people are seen dashing in and out of the kitchen, until finally large platters of chicken and duck, vegetables, bread and various salads are brought in and set on the table before you. The tables are decorated with wild flowers, beautifully folded napkins, candles and small golden crowns. Your senses are overwhelmed, but you feel generally very welcome, excited and hungry.
 
 
How would you feel if you were welcomed as a guest of honour to this meal?
I venture to say that if you’re anything like me, you would probably have loved to be there.
 
 

Inspired by the King

Years ago, my husband and I headed up the team who organized this dinner as a “Feast for Sons and Daughters of the King”.
 
Our whole concept and idea was that each person arriving, was the son or daughter of the King of Kings, and what better way to welcome and greet them by an abundant, royal feast? The people arriving were students of the DTS (Discipleship Training School) we were staffing with Youth with a Mission.
 
 
 
There was a lot of work involved and money spent in preparing this one meal, but it was well worth it and that experience is burned into my memory. As I was preparing all the food, I really felt the heart of God for each one of the new students who were to arrive.
God was excited. He was so happy that they would just come and be with him. He was delighted that they stopped whatever they were doing in the lives at that moment, to be intentional about their relationship with him. Each of these students of all different ages and ethnicity had decided to commit to six months of focused time on God. And God honours that.
 
 
Why did we decide to create an opulent feast you may ask? Why all the effort, time, and money? Perhaps we could have better spent that money.
 
 
Well we were convinced God loves to party and here’s why:
 
 

1. We know that we are all sons and daughters of the King and he wants good for us.

 

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
In fact, even if we are the worst children ever. He rejoices so much when one of his children returns to him that he throws a party.
We see this all over Luke 15 with the Parable of the Prodigal Son, The Parable of the Lost Coin, and The Parable of the Lost Sheep.

2. God uses food as a tasty teaching technique.

If you’re not convinced that God loves partying in the three above stories, you should check out how much celebrating happened in the Old Testament.
Did you know that God commanded people to celebrate these SEVEN feasts? It’s almost as if he is adamant that people just take a break from their year to celebrate that God has it covered and always will have it covered! 
That’s seven feasts a year that God created for his people to meet and celebrate with him, to learn about him and experience him.
 
 

In the NT we see that Jesus often uses food as a means to teach. One example is the initiation of the Lord’s Supper in Matthew 26:26-28

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
This is my blood of thecovenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

 

3. Feeding people shows love. It is an action louder than words.

Food gives opportunity to rest,  reflect, and restrengthen. Even Jesus provided the great practical need of food for thousands of people. I wonder if his teachings were digested better on a full and content stomach?   This verse in Psalm 36: 5-9 reminds us of how God shows love and goodness to his people (and animals) by providing for them. I love the imagery used in this verse of God the refuge who gives us the feast of his abundance and our complete satisfaction and delight.

 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.
 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

4. Feasting is a prophetic picture of the future

Again and again in the Old Testament we get glimpses into what God has prepared for his people in the future. And I’ll let you know now it doesn’t have anything to do with us floating on clouds and playing harps.

 We will be enjoying the best dang food and wine ever that will be literally served by God himself.

Isaiah 25:6

The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.

Luke 14:15

When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

Revelation 19:7-9

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb ‘” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

 

So going back to the beginning of our castle feast story, our team was convinced that one of the best ways to welcome and communicate the gospel to our new students was spoiling them with an amazing feast. It’s likely that the newly arrived students in our story didn’t understand all of the intricacies and thoughts that were invested in preparing that meal. But they surely felt loved. Whether they realized it or not, our “King’s Feast” was a preparation, or a prophetic rehearsal of what is to come.

Have you ever had a great feast? What was it like? 
What are ways you can include more celebration and feasting into your year?
Stuck on ideas? Try the Shabbat!

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