“He said, come to the table; come join the sinners who have been redeemed. Take your place beside the Savior. Sit down and be set free.”
And the next lyrics in the Sidewalk Prophets song, “Come to the Table,” are simply that … COME TO THE TABLE.
Those of you who really know me have discovered that Holy Communion is an essential part of my faith walk. It is not that I view it as an obligation, but rather an essential ongoing destination that I need to experience in order to be a better Christian. It is a place for forgiveness, renewal, and yes, through those simple elements, I can sense God’s Holy Spirit in a way that re-energizes my connection to the Holy.
Since June of last year, we have been offering a service of ‘Virtual Communion” to the world through our Facebook page every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. I am blessed to have received so many messages from people around the United States and the world who have told me that God has used those simple moments to touch their spirits and bless them. I know I am blessed in those moments and so thankful for Gary Rutter who is always there to get the video stream working.
A few weeks ago, it seems that God’s Holy Spirit was speaking to both Gary and me, because when we arrived for the Wednesday morning streamed service of The Table we both had something to say to each other.
We both had felt a nudge or a call or a message beyond ourselves to open the doors of St. Paul’s every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. and to invite the world to come into our beautiful sanctuary for Holy Communion and prayer in addition to streaming the service.
It is utterly amazing how God works … how if we listen the Spirit speaks to us … and how God was smart enough to reach out to both Gary and me just in case one of us couldn’t figure out the message. The message …. OPEN UP YOUR DOORS and let the world in!
Therefore, we will be opening the doors to the world beginning on Wednesday, July 21st— inviting each of you, all our neighbors, and anyone who feels the need to embrace God, bow in prayer, ask for forgiveness, and receive the blessing of Holy Communion to come into St. Paul’s for our 7 a.m. service. We will continue to stream the service as well.
Most of you are aware that there has been some “noise” in the news about Holy Communion recently, initiated by men who want to decide who God can bless through Holy Communion. As United Methodists, we believe the Table of the Lord is open to all who believe and choose to come to the table. We don’t require a membership in our church nor in our denomination and I don’t have to personally approve each person before sharing Christ’s bread and cup.
Gary and I talked about The Table, and it may be an opportunity for those who have been disappointed when the Table is limited to find a new church home with us.
Acclaimed author and faith leader Bishop NT Wright has written, “At the heart of Galatians 2 is not an abstract individualized salvation, but a common meal. Paul does not want the Galatians to wait until they have agreed on all doctrinal arguments before they can sit down and eat together. Not to eat together is already to get the answer wrong. The whole point of his argument is that all those who belong to Christ belong at the same table with one another.”
So let me invite you, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members, and strangers you and I meet on the street to join our church in Holy Communion every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. and on the first Sunday of each month during our 9:30 worship service.
COME TO THE TABLE … all who belong to the Lord. Let’s eat together and be blessed together!