TODAY, August 3, 2016, The Feast marks its 19th Founding An-niversary!
We celebrate this milestone with the soft launching of the e-book Messy Church for Messy People: How To Bring Jesus To People You Love
Inspiring Stories of Unchurched People Who Found Their Way Back To God
For one reason or another, they strayed away from the Church, away from God. Then by His Grace, they found The Feast where they experienced His Unconditional Love that guided them back to His loving embrace, back to His Church.
Why The Feast?
This is The Feast Story…
The Feast of the Light of Jesus Family may trace its beginning way back in the time of Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites destined to be the father of all nations. When Abraham was 100 years old, his wife Sarah, then 80 years old, gave birth to their son Isaac.
Abraham would then face a test of faith. God commanded him that instead of the usual lamb killed as sacrifice to honor the Lord, Abraham must offer Isaac. Humbly obeying God, Abraham brought Isaac to Mount Moriah to start the sacrificial rites. But at the last mo-ment, an angel stopped him. God rewarded Abraham’s steadfast faith with abundant prosperi-ty and the honor to become the father of all nations. (Genesis 22:1-19) True enough, Abraham became the patriarch of numerous de-scendants from whom came Moses and later Jesus Himself.
The rite of killing a lamb as sacrifice is repeated in another major event in our faith history.
Suffering a seven-year famine, the Israelites migrated to Egypt where in time they were treated as slaves. Moses, who grew up as an adopted son of the Egyptian princess, was anointed to lead the Israel-ites in escaping from Egypt. God revealed to Moses that He would send ten plagues to force the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. The last plague would be the death of the first-born males, one of whom would be the Pharoah’s eldest son. To save the first-born among the Israelites, the Lord instructed Moses to tell each family to slaughter a young lamb and mark their doorposts with the blood of the lamb.
And so when the Angel of Death went around to kill the first-born in Egypt, he passed over the houses of the Israelites marked with blood, and thus sparing the first-born among the Israelites.
We now know this event as the Passover which God instructed the Israelite to celebrate every year: “This observance will be a re-minder, like something tied on your hand or on your forehead; it will remind you to continue to recite and study the Law of the Lord, be-cause the Lord brought you out of Egypt, by His great power. Cele-brate this festival at the appointed time each year.” The Egyptians, fearing more mishaps to come upon them, then shooed away the Israelites who promptly embarked on what we now know as the Exodus. (Exodus 12-14).
The Last Supper
And so it came to pass that the Israelites continued to celebrate the Passover every year.
The Bible tells us that Jesus and the disciples in their time cele-brated the Passover. It was at the end of the week of the celebration of the Passover when Jesus came to Jerusalem for what would be the Last Supper That day, which we now call Maundy Thursday, Jesus and His disciples gathered in the Upper Room for dinner which was going to be Jesus’ last before His crucifixion.
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26: 26-30)
The Holy Mass
Instead of the lamb that was slaughtered as an offering to God in the olden times, Jesus became the Lamb who offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. The Bread in the Last Supper would then be the Body of Jesus and the Wine would be His Blood, and the solemn rite would be done, as the Lord commanded, during the Holy Mass now celebrated every day in all Catholic churches.
The Charismatic Prayer Meetings
The Charismatic Movement in the early ‘70s popularized the rousing, upbeat way of worship services in non-Catholic communities which attracted trickles and eventually hordes of parishioners who preferred to attend those lively services instead of the solemn Mass.
The Charismatic Movement, however, was acknowledged by the Vatican as a welcome development in Church life. The Vatican thus established an office for the Charismatic Renewal which we know to-day as the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS).
In 1978, the year the ICCRS was established, was also the year Gene and Pilar Sanchez, the parents of The Feast founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, first attended a Charismatic prayer meeting held by the Up-per Room Prayer Group, which led to the foundation of the Light of Jesus Family. The Light of Jesus then established prayer groups holding lively Charismatic prayer meetings. The members came together for the celebration of the Holy Mass every Sunday which also included Char-ismatic worship, plus a talk on practical application of the Catholic teachings in one’s day-to-day life.
The Victory Celebration with Jesus
Every quarter, the Light of Jesus held assemblies called the Vic-tory Celebration with Jesus, which eventually would become the weekly Feast, starting in 1997.
In her diary, Pilar Sanchez, mother of our Feast Founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, wrote:
1997 Aug 3
The FEAST - 1st day - 8:30 am to 12 nn - sched-uled every Sunday
The first Feast was held at Camp Aguinaldo in Cubao, Quezon City, headquarters of the Armed of the Philippines, because some of the members of the Light of Jesus Family were AFP soldiers and em-ployees who helped arrange for The Feast to be held at the AFP The-ater. Yes, a part of the Philippine Army had joined Christ’s Army, to fight a good fight— to bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus and make them disciples of the Lord.
In Messy Church for Messy People, Bro. Bo Sanchez further re-veals the reasons for The Feast.
In her diary, Sis Pilar listed down the rapid growth of The Feast:
1997 Aug 3
The FEAST - 1st day - 8:30 am to 12 nn - scheduled every Sunday
1997 Aug 31
During the FEAST, Bo announced the Glory of God Community will now be called Light of Jesus Community
1997 Nov 9
The FEAST was held at Music Museum instead at AFP. This went on for 3 months. - held every Sunday yet
1999 Feb 28
1st FEAST at LOJC East Sector held at Binangonan Rizal
1999 Mar 28
FEAST at Biñan Laguna by South Sector
1999 Aug 1
FEAST at AFP 2nd Anniversary - Start of 2 sessions - 8-10am & 10:30am - 12:30pm
1999 Mar 7
FEAST at AFP Theatre becomes every 1st Sunday of the month, 9:30am - 12nn (instead of every Sunday)
1999 Nov 7
FEAST at AFP Theatre, launched the book Boss 2 & Sabbath
2002 Sep 1
Bo launched his book BOSS 3 during the FEAST
2002 Dec 3
1st FEAST at Mandaue Sports Complex, Mandaue, Cebu City
2003 Jul 6
Bo gives 3 different talks per FEAST in a day - taping done for future TV show
2007 Dec 15
1st FEAST in Pasig
THE FEAST STORIES
To be able to “franchise” The Feast, Bro. Bo invited the best lay preachers he could find, as well as mentored young men in the Community with leadership potentials to help him build Feasts in the Philippines and abroad.
To date, there are 224 Feasts worldwide. From some of the-se Feasts, attendees stepped forward to tell stories of their amaz-ing awakening now in the book Messy Church for MessyPeople, which we must say, are continuing the Greatest Story Ever Told…
NEXT WEEK: The Introduction to Messy Church for Messy People. Watch for it!