The good ol’ potluck. Traditions of yesterday creeping into today with signs and sightings of Christ. I wrote about the Potluck here. I learned a few things about food while we were on a European journey. I wanted to share some things we experienced related to our American use of the word potluck.
While on our European journey, we would stay with different folks, or have a meal in their homes. And man, did we enjoy their meals. Here are a few things we loved to experience while we were being served meals:
Appetizers: nuts, crackers, fruit, bread
Entree: sausage and beans, risotto, savory crepes, bread
Salad: salad, bread
Cheese: wonderful cheeses, bread
Desert: fruit tart, creme brûlée, sweet crepes
Digestif: something spicy
And pairing. Each course had a different drink that went with it that brought out the flavor of each portion. Amazing. Filling. Full of flavor. Touching many senses.
When were invited into each home for these meals, we were treated like royalty. The conversations that happened over these meals lasted well over three hours. This reminded me of the times I spend with the group of people I am in shared Life community with in Nashville. Nowhere to be. Nothing to accomplish.
Now to potlucks…
While Julie and I were on this journey in Europe, we learned the French term for potluck from our brother Kevìn. It is agape.
That is ridiculous!
When I heard this word in the context of a meal together with brothers and sisters in Christ…I was blown away. Agape!
In English, there are three different Greek words in the bible that are translated into English as love:
Personally, I could use more Agape love…from me and from others. But let me share how this word Agape changed my life.
In our potlucks, there are many different things arrive. When I wrote about potlucks before, I alluded to the fact that some families would prepare the dishes they brought the night before and bring in some good smelling munchies for the group.
But there are other things that arrive to the potlucks. You know that family who always brings the potato chips with french onion dip. You know them… And then there is that other family who always brings the veggie tray from the local grocery store. That they bought that morning. On their way to church. And they were still late to the sermon…
And then there are those folks who may be on hard times and didn’t bring anything. Or there are those folks who aren’t on hard times but didn’t bring anything. Except an appetite.
Those are the crazy things that arrive, or don’t arrive, to a potluck. A big ol’ pot and a little bit of luck. That’s it. No particular menu at all. The purpose of these potlucks is to reduce the overall cost of the meal to all participants.
Interesting, isn’t it? Reducing the cost for the participants. That doesn’t sound like Life in Christ now does it?
The last time I heard, Jesus asked us to give him everything.
What if we had more of the mind to have an Agape?
What if we gave selflessly at these meals?
What would they consist of? What would the menu be?
It could only be one thing, or One Person. Christ.
Perhaps one day, you will be sitting in a pew or a chair in a fellowship hall, smelling that brisket and desiring the coconut creme pie, and you will ask yourself, “What has the Lord given me to bring to the Agape?”
What a question! What a place to be asking from!
May we give to our groups selflessly. May we get count the cost and give extravagantly. May we desire to only have one menu; Christ.
You see, potlucks are good. They are tasty. Sometimes you get to eat some of what you brought. Sometimes other people bring some good stuff. And there always seems to be enough for everyone.
Potlucks can be how some of our group meetings go. A little here, a little there. Perhaps that person didn’t bring anything, but they still get to partake of the meal. Everyone always seems to get something.
Agape feasts. Imagine an entire group of people, everyone, bringing their entire Lives. Imagine that they brought all of their identity, all of what Christ gave them, to share with their brothers and sisters.
Everyone giving all of themselves, loving selflessly. There is an overwhelming amount of Christ to share that lasts over and above that meeting. When Christ is the only thing on the menu, not doctrines or theologies or ideologies or other things that don’t really matter in God’s eternal purpose, then there is an abundance of Christ. There is an abundance of Life.
Let’s drop the potluck.
Let’s live the Agape.