One of the funnier stories today at services was when the elder who gave the sermonette message in the afternoon spoke about his own childhood experiences exploring the fallen timbers in the farmstead where his family lived several decades ago in rural Washington near Vancouver. After being upset at children not showing up for dinner because they could not hear the dinner call of their mother, the speaker’s father got a large bell, likely at some auction, and the bell would ring to call the children in to eat on time, which they could hear when they were exploring in the forested parts of the homestead, as kids are wont to do. While there are children who are more interested in running around than eating, which probably helps them stay somewhat skinny, most people enjoy eating in a timely fashion, no matter what other activities they are interested in. As it happens, this evening after services I drove over to my usual post-Holy Day restaurant and found after exploring both entrances that the place had been totally blocked off for renovation and would not be open again until after the Feast of Tabernacles. Our habit thrown off, we ate next door where I enjoyed the food but we had an extremely scatterbrained waitress, and resolved to plan a different place to eat for the next Holy Day before we scattered off to different feast sites–the couple I ate with are going to Bend, and our other usual dinner companions are off to Colorado Springs, while I am off to Estonia .
One of the interesting contrasts in the book of Revelation is between two harvests that take place at the same time but with vastly different results. In Revelation 14:14-20, we read: “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”
Here we see a passage that discusses two harvests that are ready at the end of the age, in what is a typical example of the two-sided view of the Bible towards the people of God and evildoers, like the parables of the wheat and the tares or the sheep and the goats. For those who are righteous, the harvest is symbolic of resurrection into eternal life, for the wicked, it is being harvested as part of the winepress of God’s wrath, with one’s blood being shed in just punishment. Nor is this the only such example, even in Revelation, of this approach. In Revelation 19:9 we read about the invitation to the wedding supper for believers: “Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”” Later on, in verse 21, we see a different invitation to supper: “And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” On the one hand, those who follow God are invited to attend the wedding supper of the Lamb and the bride of Christ, and those who oppose Christ are invited to become the supper of various carrion birds. Some people eat supper and others are the main course.
And so we end where we begin. Whether we eat at places we did not expect because the restaurants we intend to go to are closed, whether we sit in pot lucks and eat with friends and brethren, whether we need bells rung to call us to eat and to cease our wandering and exploring, food and fellowship are important concerns in our lives. And if we are followers of God, filled with love for God and for other people, we can expect an invitation to a wedding supper, even if we are not the sort of people who tend to get invited to the cool parties very often. On the other hand, if we are not wise, we could very well find ourselves being invited to a party where the cookbook is the classic work “How To Serve Humans.” To be served on a dish and not to be served food at the supper one is invited to is only a partial pleasure, and not a very satisfactory one. Either way, whatever you call me, don’t call me late for supper.
 See, for example: