Our church, Christ Community, had a church picnic Sunday.
It was advertised as a "hog roast." This I had to see. I'd heard about such things. Even saw one once. It was in a 1950s vintage black and white Tarzan movie. That was my total exposure to whole-hog roasts.
Fortunately for those readers who are quite squeamish about such things (not me, of course), apparently the hog was slaughtered, butchered and roasted off-campus. Meaning we just had to eat it.
Although I was obviously "disappointed" at not getting to see a pig on a rotisserie, it probably worked out better that way. For a short time, my father had worked as Traffic Manager for a packing company. I "toured" part of the plant exactly once. There is much wisdom in the old adage that no one should see how sausages and laws are made.
A church picnic is something like a huge family reunion. You are supposed to know all these people. They are, after all, "part of your church family."
We even call each other "brother" or "sister." For me, this is mostly because I can't remember names. Like a bi-annual family gathering, someone should be passing out name tags and a flowchart of who's related to who and why. In writing about a first century church "picnic," early church leader Tertullian (ca. 155-230) has been quotes as saying, "Behold how (these Christians) love one another."
Surely there were those then who didn't know everybody's name, but it would not diminish the bond, which comes out of such times together. Whether they be called picnics, pot-luck dinners, fellowship meals or something else, such as get-togethers are good for any community. Any event makes a better community for all of us if it can bring people together for some common good and help us know each other. Like sausages, the end product is better than any of the ingredients.
It was a little cool for a picnic. The thing about cool days is that ants have a very strong union and won't work in such weather. The good news (if you're an ant) is that summer is coming. As a community, we're just about to launch a new season of picnics. Jonah Fish Fry's, festivals and fairs, and a lot of other fun things to do.
All of these should be seen as opportunities to strengthen our community "family" by getting to know each other better, even if we never know names. All of these events will also feature eating. If you know of one which includes a whole-hog roast, let me know. I will be out of town that day -- attending a Tarzan movie marathon.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.