“And they...did eat their meat together with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God...” (Acts 2:46,47,
If life is more than food (Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:23), why did this fill them
with gladness, unity, and praise to God? If “gladness and food” is God’s gift
to all human beings (Acts 14:17), not just believers, why does Acts even bother
to mention this aspect of the Church’s regular life? What’s different about the
Church’s sharing of meals? Geneva
When the Church shares a meal, it’s a picture of living faith (James 2:15-17), and faith is the reason for gladness, unity, and praise to God. In this case their truth faith is manifested in the fact that they actually love each other enough to eat together (1 John 4:7-12,20,21).
When the Church shares a meal, it’s a picture of their true food, the doctrine of the Word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:2). Paul himself clearly connects the sanctification of normal food with “the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5) to the true faith and right doctrine. His truth is the reason for gladness, unity, and praise to God.
“And the king appointed them provision every day of a portion of the king’s meat, and of the wine, which he drank, so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof, they might stand before the king...but Daniel had determined in his heart, that he would not defile himself with the portion of the King’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8). Eating the king’s choice food means relying on him and being in alliance with him (11:26). Daniel and his three friends, by their decision to eat uniquely together, reveal their true allegiance. When the Church eats together, recognizing God alone as the Giver of the meal, it preaches a complete reliance and submission to Him.
Gladness, unity, and praise to God in the meal (made holy by gratefulness, the Word, and prayer): a fundamental of what it means to be the Church.