Is there an empty chair at your table?
Is your table big enough for everyone? Young and old? Women and men? Those who have hurt you? Those you have hurt? For gays, lesbians, transgender, bisexual, queer? Everyone?
What about God’s table? Do you believe God welcomes everyone – as they are?
This is Rob, Susan’s husband writing today. 🙂 I was moved to tears at a recent church service. It was organized by the Queer Alliance at a seminary, and held during LGBTQ Pride Week.
Jesus had a special place in his heart for the marginalized and oppressed. We so frequently turn a blind eye – sometimes even justify it ‘in Jesus name’ – to those who have been left out – those who do not feel like they truly have a place at the table.
God forgive us for that. God forgive me for that.
Susan recently talked about this church service, but I wanted to share with you the text of the closing hymn. May it touch your heart as it did mine…
For everyone born, a place at the table. For everyone born, clean water and bread, a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing. For everyone born, a star overhead.
For woman and man, a place at the table. Revising the roles, deciding the share. With wisdom and grace, dividing the power. For woman and man, a system that’s fair.
For young and for old, a place at the table. A voice to be heard, a part in the song. The hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled. For young and for old, the right to belong.
For just and unjust, a place at the table. Abuser, abused, with need to forgive. In anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy. For just and unjust, a new way to live.
For gay and for straight, a place at the table. To live without fear, and simply to be. To work, to speak out, to witness and worship. For gay and for straight, the right to be free.
For gay and for straight, a place at the table. A covenant shared, a welcoming space. A rainbow of race and gender and color. For gay and for straight, the chalice of grace.
And God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy, compassion and peace. Yes, God will delight when we are creators of justice. Justice and joy.
May our thoughts and hearts be changed, may our table always have a place for all, and may God delight in our unconditional love, acceptance and affirmation for each other.
(‘For Everyone Born’ is a hymn written by Shirley Erena Murray.)