Tonight at FPC Maumee we had our Agape Meal, a meal designed to reflect some elements of the passover meal, ancient Christian worship, and the way Jesus modeled selfless service in washing his disciples’ feet. This has become a tradition in our church and is one of my favorite things that we do as a church.

Here’s what I like about the Agape Meal:

It’s authentic. In a world with many things competing for everyone’s time it’s tempting, particularly as a church, to try to portray ourselves as different than we are in actuality. This event is not about being catchy or gimicky, it’s about being community. The dinner is surrounded by elements of worship and we sing simple congregation favorite type of songs. Food is passed around the room in a way that feels like great big family dinner.

Everyone has the opportunity to live into their call in the church community. Deacons, called to be the hands and feet of the church, serve the meal. They work with kind diligence to see that everyone is served and cared for. Elders, called to lead and equip the church in worship and service of God, distribute the elements of communion as well as lead the tables around the room in rites of hand washing and eating of bitter herbs. The pastor, called to preach and teach the congregation how to live in service of God, leads worship throughout the evening and explains the rites in which we are all taking part.

As we seek to bring others into our community and connect people with Christ, I hope events such as this annual meal can serve as a touchstone, reminding us how we are called to love one another as Christ loved the world: with agape love.