The Sandia Great Banquet
What Is the Great Banquet?
The Gospel of Luke presents the parable of the Great Banquet. Jesus tells of a master who prepared a great banquet and invited many guests, saying, "Come, for everything is now ready." After so many excuses for not attending by his invited guests, the master became angry and ordered his servant, "Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame."
After this had been done, and room still remained, the master told his servant, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full." Then, as additional invitations were given, the banquet was presented to his guests. The result of the master's invitation was to feast and fellowship at a banquet given by God. (Luke 14:15-24)
The parable above provides the picture for the Great Banquet. Like its counterparts, Cursillo, Emmaus, and Tres Días, this movement examines Christianity as a lifestyle. The Great Banquet is an orderly, structured weekend designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christians. Through a combined effort of laity and clergy, the Great Banquet focuses on the renewal of the church.
The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. For three days, guests live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer, and discussion. During each of the 15 talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God's grace is presented. Guests participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. They personally experience His grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.
One of the most important parts of the Great Banquet is the follow-up. Although the weekend lasts only three days, guests are invited to use its lessons for the rest of their lives. After attending the Great Banquet, they are challenged to:
- Strengthen their own spiritual life through study and active congregational participation; and
- Strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.
When Are the Next Weekends?
Men's Weekend #21 is April 11-14, 2024.
Women's Weekend #22 is April 18-21, 2024.
After the Weekend
To assist guests in their discipleship, the Great Banquet offers specific opportunities. First, reunion groups of three to five people meet to examine their goal of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship. Second, there will be opportunities to assist in future Great Banquet weekends through prayer, support, and team involvement. Third, guests are made aware of community needs through a newsletter of other Great Banquet weekends.