CHURCH CORNER: Take time to celebrate life with a feast

By Brenda Satrum

My grandad had something right. From the simplest workday lunch to the most elaborate holiday dinner, Grandpa was in our faces: “You can take another piece of lefse!” (If you don’t know lefse, ask me later.) “Oh, have another cookie!” “Surely you’re not full yet!”

Maybe it was the years of the Depression that always made abundance a joy, or maybe it was that Grandpa was just all about food – from the field, the cow or the chicken all the way to the table. In any case, it was his gift to all, his legacy to me.

Today we’re readying our home for a birthday feast. Invitations are out, friends and family in to decorate and plan the meal. Candles burn, flowers blossom, best and borrowed plates and silver shine. Abundance reigns, anxiety is banished (oft as needed!). Our hearts celebrate life.

When last did you celebrate life with a feast? Or with a feast, find life? For me, The Feast is more than food and drink and time with friends. The Feast is any moment – every moment – my heart finds itself full of God’s abundance of beauty, of joy, of peace, of adventure. The Feast is a trailhead at the foot of Rainier, the crowd at the start of a marathon and my name called at its finish, the unfolding of a rose, the roar of an engine, the wild beauty of a girl turning teenaged, the newfound strength of a boy at the edge of manhood, the clasped hands of a couple long-married.

One year The Feast surprised me. In a remote mountain community gathered by and ’round Christ, a stranger invited me to her banquet. Years before, Stuffi had nearly been killed – attacked, abused, and stabbed many times before being left for dead. Every breath she takes is a miracle. As a part of her recovery, Stuffi annually reclaims the day of her near-death for life, setting a feast for friends and family and marking it with gratitude. On this day, more than 50 of us, from heart-friends to bare acquaintances, stood in grateful awe at joyful strength shining through this woman and at the wonderful spread she and God set for us all.

“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 25:6-8).

May The Feast find you. Today.