愛餐会 – Love meal meeting).
“So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.” (1 Corinthians 11:33 NIV)
I remember when I first experienced life in the Japanese church in 1999. I was a college student and though I had accepted Christ in the 8th grade, I had not read the Bible on my own outside what was covered in sermons or Bible Studies, so I knew little about Acts and the early churches.
Only after my first service in Japan when tables were set-up and lunch prepared did I learn that the early churches had a tradition of eating together. A biblical tradition continued by the majority of churches in Japan, with a 愛餐会 (lit: ‘love meal meeting’) after services on Sundays.
I know that for many larger American churches the idea let alone logistics of ‘feeding’ a whole congregation after a service is ‘impossible’. However if you have ever experienced life in a church that eats together every week, you know the power in such a tradition.
God is present as members work together to prepare, serve, setup, and then clean up the meal. God is present as members literally break bread together while discussing the sermon, the day, the week ahead, and life in general. God is present as walls are broken, masks are taken off, and strangers become family all in the name of obedience, servanthood, and love.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47 NIV)
Written by Brittney.