The banquet IS the good news.
Jesus turns the water to wine at the wedding banquet. Jesus tells the story of a banquet that the rich and important folks decline and that is full of the poor and the lame and the blind. Jesus overseas the spread for the fish and loaves banquet for the hungry peasants on the hill. Jesus is condemned for eating and drinking with sinners. Jesus shares the bread and wine banquet with his disciples on the night before he is betrayed. He invites them to eat and drink the banquet of God’s body whenever they get together. Jesus is known not as he speaks with his discouraged friends on the road to Emmaus but in the breaking of the bread.
The banquet is the kingdom. Eating together is both sign and reality of God’s community. Hunger is both sign and reality of our alienation from God.
Jesus prays over the scarce bread and fishes and then commands the disciples to feed the crowd. And bounty abounds. God’s economy and God’s reign is the banquet where everyone is fed.
Should we be so bold as to pray “Thy Kingdom come on earth?” Should we be so bold as to make our personal choices and our church mission and our political alignments about making sure everyone is welcome and fed at the table? Should we be so bold as to lay our basket of bread on the table as if God is the master of this abundant feast?