Love Feast | Galatians 5:13-15
Brothers, you were called to be FREE! But this isn’t a freedom to do as you please, giving you a platform from which to carry out the whim and will of your fallen, baser, all-too-human selves. No! It is a freedom empowering you through love to serve one another like devoted slaves of Christ. You want to talk about Law? The entire Law is summed up and carried out in one word. LOVE. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if the only love feast you know is the kind inspired by these troublemakers, one in which you love to tear into each other, to rip each other to shreds in religious contention and debates – careful now. After that “love feast,” when you’re all done with each other, there may be nothing left. Galatians 5:13-15 | MAV
“Love Feast.” That was one of the early descriptive terms for what we usually now call “Communion” or the “Lord’s Supper.” It was a love feast because all would gather and all would share a meal at the same table, leading to communion – regardless of social, cultural, or gender barriers. It was scandalous. And the watching world marveled – or scoffed. The Galatians were evidently offering a spectacle of another sort to the watching world: a “love fest” that more closely resembled a Smackdown wrestling event or a Monster Truck rally as they ran over and trashed talked others (this sounds too familiar). Paul, having worked up a pretty good head of steam himself, and understandably so, now pauses, hits the “reset” button, and reminds them once again that Christ has set them free – and that this freedom in Jesus does not mean a free-for-all. Instead it is the empowerment to do what has always mattered most: to love people. Particularly the ones right next to you at the moment. When asked which of the 613 Old Testament commandments the Rabbis tallied in the Old Testament was the greatest, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” Paul here does a re-post of Jesus’ comment with his own “like” attached. The whole point is love, and the whole point of Jesus is freeing and empowering us to love. Anything short of that is a love feast that we can surely afford to miss.
How do you define “love”? How would you respond to someone who said love is just a side benefit Jesus offers us, but that the really important thing is ________________________?
Lord, set my heart free to love as you do, to embrace life and others as you do, to humbly serve as you do. Remind me throughout the day that I don’t have a license to do as I please, but the power to love as you have loved us. Through Jesus.
The whole text this week is Galatians 5:1-15. Read it daily in it’s entirety from a few different translations if possible.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.