Chuck Terrill: On missing church dinners

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I will tell you another thing COVID-19 has messed up — Fellowship Dinners.

Nothing beats a church supper. At least two miracles happen every time the church gets together for a “carry-in” or “covered dish” meal.

One: there is always more than enough to eat, even if a tourist bus breaks down in front of the church precisely at lunch time. This is a “loaves and fishes” miracle.

Two: there is always a good balance of meat, vegetables, salad, and desert, even though no one really plans it that way. The Holy Spirit, most certainly, must be the coordinator of Church “potluck” luncheons.  

I most enjoy watching young children prepare their own plates while their parents are preoccupied with selecting their meals. A balanced meal to a kid is strawberry Jello with whipped cream, a banana, a piece of fudge, two cupcakes and a dill pickle. Mom and dad, though, know exactly what to look for in the buffet line. Aunt Minnie always brings her world famous, homemade, apple strudel. Mrs. Allison makes the best pot roast you can imagine. Some “so called” Christians have even been known to skip the entrée, portion of the line and go straight to the desert table. Otherwise, Haroldene's 

delicious cinnamon rolls will all be gone before they get there.  

The best thing about a church supper, though, is the fellowship. Little kids sit with grownups, across the table from teenagers. Married couples, singles and grandparents sit down together. There is fun, fellowship, and food, all shared with the family.

Mealtimes like this are genuine communion, and the Lord is always pleased with that. Every little kid with a chocolate cupcake smeared face is your child. Every grandma and every grandpa are your grandma and your grandpa. Every family is your family.

That bus load of tourists that drop in unexpectedly are warmly greeted and escorted to the head of the line. They will form an opinion about Christianity based not on what Christians say, but on what they see Christians do.

The fellowship meals at church show genuine caring and sharing. It is wonderful when those who attend a church dinner come away saying, “Christians! How they love and enjoy each other!”  

Church suppers are another great reason to be a part of God's forever family. The book of Acts reveals that the early Christians “shared their meals with unaffected joy, as they praised God and enjoyed the favor of all the people” (Acts 2.46).

I cannot wait to sit down the table again, with all my friends.

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.