I remember church potlucks as a kid; running to be first in line as soon as “Amen” was spoken, skipping over all the veggies and potato salad. It was fun having a host of food choices, especially a bunch of desserts. Later, I had a pastor that didn’t like having potlucks because “there is no luck in Christ” he would say. Instead of potluck, he called the same kind of church fellowship meal a “covered dish,” and the church had lots of those. It is good to gather together in thankfulness with food.

The peace offering described in Leviticus chapters 3 and 7 is the only offering that is given to the Lord with a part of the sacrifice returned to and enjoyed as a community in celebration. Lev 3:1, “If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord.” Most translations say “peace” offering as the ESV does, but a few, such as the NIV, translate this as “fellowship” offering because the offering is enjoyed with thanks in fellowship and with thanks for the fellowship of others.

In Acts 2:42-47 it is clear that believers in the early church “broke bread” together regularly, meeting often together in each other’s homes and at church. The peace offering was the only offering explained in Leviticus that was optional. Individuals in God’s family could potentially go their whole lives without bringing a peace offering before the Lord. How about you? How are you celebrating with and for the people God has put around you?

John Riley

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