Monday, March 12, 2012

Love Feast

We did something a little different for church yesterday. I was quite a fan.
March 8th, Russia celebrated International Women's Day. Because of this day, Thursday and Friday were days off and Sunday became a working day. As a result, instead of our usual service at noon, the time was changed to 6:30pm.

The men prepared and organized a dinner. Tables were set up in the Zal and when it was time to start worship, we took seats at these tables with scrumptious food in front of us.

Assembling for the Love Feast

Brother Konstantin Zhigulin led us in a prayer and a song, then informed us it was time to eat. There was a rice/vegetable/chicken dish, juice and bread. We ate and talked.

After eating, we were led in a few more songs and then had communion and offering. Finally, Brother Oleg Yakimenko gave us the lesson, preaching about women and their role and importance.

I was a huge fan of the Love Feast, and not just because I like it when congregations mix things up once in a while. It wasn't just like a potluck, or a meal eaten together, it was more formal than that because the meal was part of the worship. Yet it wasn't so formal that it felt stiff like a ritual. It felt natural, right and good.

And there's something about sitting across from each other at tables for worship that makes you focus on your brothers and sisters, rather than just what's going on up front in a typical forward facing manner. And there's something more significant when you're passing communion trays back and forth across the table. It's more like family.

That's the way it's supposed to be. 

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