I offered the following remarks at the beginning of the Theopolis Feast, which we celebrated last Saturday evening.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome to the Theopolis Feast, the first of what we hope will become an annual event. I’m Peter Leithart, President of the Theopolis Institute.
Theopolis is a community of pastors, theologians, and students devoted to articulating and disseminating a vision of the church’s mission to contemporary culture, a vision that centers on Scripture and liturgical practice. We believe the church can carry out her world-transforming mission only by being fully herself, an outpost of the heavenly city of the Triune God. When the church inhabits the symbolic world of the Bible in study, teaching, and worship, when she communes as Christ’s Bride at His table, she is a transfiguring light that brings the life of the Spirit to the world.
That’s a mouthful, the kind of wordy vision statement you expect from the head of a Christian ministry. If you want something more tangible, look around: This evening embodies our Theopolitan vision.
Festivity is at the center of human life. God created human beings hungry – hungry for food, hungry for love and communion, hungry for God. Adam chose to feast with the serpent, but God was determined to host humanity at His banquet table. And so Jesus came eating and drinking. He died and rose again to unleash His Spirit who gathers, fills, and feeds a community of joy at the Lord’s Table, on pilgrimage toward the eternal feast in the new heavens and new earth.
This, this event tonight, is our hope for the church and the world: Men and women gathered to eat, drink and rejoice, to delight in God’s good gifts, to taste the God who is Himself eternal Triune festivity. Tonight, we glimpse the beauty of the world as it ought to be, which is the world as it will be.
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