Dinner on the Grounds

I grew up in an era where the Methodist and Baptist were very very similar. In a small town like I grew up in, you were either Methodist, Baptist or ‘one of those’ (tongue in cheek) Pentecostals. There were a few others, even a few cults, but for the most part, you were one of those. And it was 99 44/100% chance if you were Methodist, you had family that were Baptist and vice versa. There were a few differences, but not many. There were many local churches of each denomination and they pretty much all knew each other.

One of the common things these churches all had in common, they all had ‘Dinner on the Grounds’. This is where the ladies would cook one or two of their favorite dishes, bring them in and everyone ate ‘pot luck’. If you were early in the line, the luck was fantastic. If you were last, it was still really good.. so no one ‘hurried’ through the line except those that wanted a Deviled Egg or a piece of a particular Chocolate Pie with 6 inch high meringe.

Later, I played with a Gospel Quartet called ‘The Revelations’ consisting of Curt Stevens, Ron Barrow, Charles Martin, Jack Rudy as singers, Janet Stevens on piano and vocals and me playing guitar. I was guilty of singing backup. They put a mic in front of me and I backed up about 12 feet.

There were very few Sundays we were not playing at a ‘Dinner on the Grounds’ connected with a singing, revival or just to have one all over W. Kentucky, S. Illinois and S. E. Missouri. It seems we always ate then we set up and sang for an hour or two. The singers had to watch their intake in order to be able to sing. As an instrumentalist I didn’t have that problem. In short order, I could fill a plate full, get a salad, desert and glass of tea, and while still standing, shake hands. (Well, I might have to put the tea down)…..

Some of the best eating in the world is at one of these ‘Dinner on the Grounds’ events. The cooking is fabulous and it is a great time to fellowship with others. Since then, I have been in churches that had breakfast on special events, monthly meetings to eat, fellowship and study, or some other method of deciding it is time to eat and fellowship.

The meal and fellowship was big in the days of Jesus, the Apostles, Believers and as Christianity spread to the Gentiles through Paul. Some of the churches even turned the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper into a drunken orgy of food. Remember, the church didn’t have a permanent structure, the earliest know building dedicated to the Church was from the 3rd century and was a converted house.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Peter presided over the 1st Mega Church in the history of the Christian Church. It was right after Pentecost.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

There is an old proverb that says ‘Read the Red and do what it said.’ Which means, read the words of Jesus and follow them just as he taught them. The King Jame Version has a ‘Red Letter Edition’ which is where that saying came from. The next time your church plans a ‘Diner on the Grounds’ which might be in the Rec Room or the Cafeteria or where ever, ask them to consider this passage which is filled with red.

Luke 14:12 ¶Then said he also to him that bade him, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.”

13 “But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:”

14 “And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”

15 ¶And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

16 Then said he unto him, “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:”

17 “And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.”

18 “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.”

19 “And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.”

20 “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”

21 “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”

22 “And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”

23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

24 “For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

25 ¶And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” 28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” 29 “Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,”

30 “Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?”

32 “Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”

33 “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

34 “¶Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?” 35 “It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Sometimes it is hard to Read the Red and Do what it Said.

May God bless the reading of this teaching. Amen!

If you need to know Christ or share Christ with others, here is a link to find out how.

Roman Road to Salvation

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