Jan. 29, 2019 All Are Welcome at the Lord's Table
This is the table, not of the church but of Jesus Christ.
It is made ready for those who love him
And who want to love him more. So come, you who have much faith and you who have little;
You who have been here often
And you who have not been for a long time or ever before;
You who have tried to follow and you who have failed;
Come, not because the Church invites you;
It is Christ, and he invites you to meet him here.
The Iona Community
When I am talking with the children about communion, I often ask them who invites us. More often than not, I will get one or two who exuberantly shout , "Jesus!" and an occassional small grin and a, "Mother Anne". I love the ability children have to connect to something, that can seem so big and overwhelming as an adult. Their connection to the Table, is that it is the Lord's. That's it. They don't worry about rules, or guidelines, or church politics. They are unconcerned with whether they, or someone else is dressed correctly. They come to the Table with open hearts and open hands because Jesus invites them. They come with the glorious wonder of a child.
As an adult, it can often seem more complicated. Have we made peace with someone with whom we are having a disagreement? Did the sermon challenge us to step outside where we are comfortable? Are we present or already working on the grocery list for the coming week in our head? It is so easy to place obstacles between us and the Table.
I love the Iona Invitation for exactly that reason. The invitation to come to the table just as you are; disgruntled or happy, well dressed or dishevled, rich, poor, immigrant, neighbor, friend.
Come because you love Jesus.
Come because Jesus loves you.
*If this is your first time worshiping with us, please know that in the Episcopal Church, it is our belief that all baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. There are several options for receiving communion. You may receive the bread, the bread and the wine, or receive a blessing. If you choose to receive the wine, you may intinct, dip the wafer in the chalice, or sip from the cup. If you choose to receive a blessing, you request one by placing your arms across your chest when you come to the rail. All three of these practices are used by the parishioners of Christ Church.