Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, our General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), released this pastoral letter on the issue of sexuality within the life of the church. I highly recommend watching it. I am thankful for her work as a theologian, trying to make sense of what we are to do as faithful Christians when there is disagreement and division about an issue such as this. The most important thing she does is remind us that we are called to be gracious and welcoming at God’s table, regardless of how we feel or think about particular issues.
As for the Table, we welcome all to our community. We take seriously this idea that it is God’s table that we gather around, not our own. Since we don’t own it, how do we get to decide who can or cannot come? We too are guests.
I recognize though that it can be tough to dine with folks who have bullied or hurt others in the name of God. Our table, no matter the shape or beauty, can feel broken. We aren’t perfect ambassadors. Injustice still abounds in the church and in our world. People are still excluded and hurt. We are on a journey that is not yet complete.
Jesus said this – “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.“
I believe that bread of life is available for everyone. I believe when we gather around the table, God feeds us regardless of our hateful ideas and our broken pasts. Bit by bit, we move along the arc of justice, slower than a lot of people would like, but forward nonetheless into God’s future where the divine dwells in harmony with all Creation. We can be a witness to wholeness in a divided world. We don’t have to be perfect to be part of the solution.
What is your response to Sharon’s message? Do you find hope or challenge in it?