Thursday, March 28, 2013
Love feast and communionIn an act of great love, Jesus gave his life for ours. The Brethren, as Jesus’ followers, love God and each other—and take that love into the world. Once or twice a year, Brethren celebrate what the earliest Christians called agape: the outflowing love that seeks not to receive but to give.
Jesus taught us this practice, sharing with his disciples a last, loving meal the night before he died. He washed the disciples’ feet, ate supper with them, sought to draw them closer into the fold of his love, and offered them the symbolic bread and cup.
During love feast, we repeat these simple, meaningful acts. After reconciling any discord among ourselves, we lovingly wash each other’s feet, then enjoy a meal together. Quietly we share communion, the bread and the cup that remind us of Jesus’ great gift; we renew our commitment to follow his example of sacrificial love. Congregations may also observe the eucharist, or bread-and-cup communion, at other times and in other settings.
Love feast closes with a hymn; then follows the humble task of cleaning up, in which all are invited to participate. When we leave the feast, reunited in our dedication to Christ and to each other, the deep, nourishing love goes with us.