“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” Psalm 104.14-15
At Providence Church we acknowledge that this life, oft called a vale of tears, is full of hardship and trouble. That said, we also want to confess that because of our hope in Christ that there is much to celebrate, especially our redemption. In fact, one of the primary duties God has placed upon man is to celebrate. This is something that distances Christianity from other world religions. Our very goal as a people is to meet up at the end of time for the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. We gather every week and partake of a pre-feast in the Lord’s Supper, and as we gather for worship we all join together in joyful song. The bible is full of things that make for a good party – songs, poems, wine and rich food. This is why we celebrate the major moments in the history of our salvation with church feasts.
Every Advent season, on the Sunday before Christmas, we hold a traveling Advent Feast. As we go from location to location as a group, we consider the different periods of exile that Israel experienced in her history and the current exile the church experiences as we await our heavenly home. We do this through readings, songs and even through the food at each location, knowing that food plays a major part in both faith and unbelief (from forbidden fruit, to lands flowing with milk and honey, all the way to a marriage supper). This journeying gives way to a cork-popping, calorie filled “Joy to the World!”, as we rejoice in the coming of our Lord Jesus at Christmas, and as we are assured of His second coming at the end of all things.
Every Easter Sunday we gather in the afternoon for a delightful Greek themed meal. We roast a lamb, raise a glass and give thanks for the resurrection from the dead. Christ is risen! Death is defeated! And to the Victor goes the spoils. Why not celebrate?
On Pentecost, we gather for a time of rejoicing as we consider the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have an international feast to represent the Gospel going out to all the nations and we have an all church Victorian dance, as we celebrate in one of the most self-forgetful and communal ways that we can. All this, because we have received the down payment of our eternal inheritance.
We have designed these feasts to be opportunities to express, with body and soul, our gratitude to God and our love for one another.