February 8: Sabbath Feasting

Ecclesiastes 9:7, “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.”

Incarnational living means our Christian faith comes out in what we do and how we live. One of the central things we do each day is sit down around the table and eat together. We are to eat our bread with lots of laughter. We are to drink our wine with merriment and happiness. Our homes should be overflowing with the joy of knowing Christ, and the table is a perfect place for this to be happening on a daily basis, and especially on the Lord’s Day. The Lord’s Day is our weekly feast of celebration.

This is not pietism, but true piety. Piety is holiness, and of course that is a good thing. Pietism is a show of holiness which isn’t real holiness. Pietism is passing the butter with a long and guilty face and lifting the glasses because this is what we have to do. But we are feasting, rejoicing, and celebrating the Good News of our salvation because we get to, not because we have to.

Sabbath feasting is a victory celebration each week. We win! Jesus rose! God did not give us a list of foods we are not allowed to eat. Quite the opposite! (See Acts 10:9-16.) He did not require us to be teetotalers. We are to drink our wine with merry hearts.

Pietism is a desire to be holier than God. Pietism parades with long lists of no-no’s: do not eat this, or touch that, or drink the other thing, or even take a whiff of it.

The Gospel is all about grace, and some of this grace is in the bread basket and in the wine glasses. Even more is in the faces gathered around the table.

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