One of my favorite songs ever was recorded by Kari Jobe, Rick Pino and some other musicians on this little album called Throneroom Worship. It's really a pretty amazing little album. Jobe has become known as the singer of "Revelation Song" (but as a quick aside, thank you Jennie Lee Riddle for, you know, actually writing it!). As history will show/has shown "Revelation Song" became the new "Shout to the Lord," because like it or not every big worship song is going to be held in comparison to one of the first church-wide(ish) anthems in a couple hundred years or so.
But back to Throneroom Worship. The album is pretty stellar. And the song I refer to is "Come to the Table." The song is quite simple. And the song is something we don't see a lot, but we have two of on this album...a communion song. For some reason something so essential in Church doctrine as communion has not warranted a lot of worship songs. That may be one of the reasons I love the song so much. But that song has got me thinking about the centrality of the table.
However, recent conversations and readings got me thinking about communion. You know the root word here is commune, which involves conversation and abiding in relationship, not simply sipping a cup and eating some carbs. So, that leads me to a picture that will surely upset some, will make some of you smirk, and make others say something like, "Preach it Jay Bakker!"
Revolution Church). Why a rainbow? As a statement of affirmation of the LGTBQ community into Church and communion. So, regardless of your emotional response, let me lay down a little truthspeak for a second. Bakker is saying, "Come to the table. The table is the thing. And I am speaking specifically to those of you who have felt like they have had no place at this table before."
And, again, regardless of your thoughts on the LGBTQ crowd being invited into the building, Bakker's invitation is necessary, because the way we have treated this community has revoked our invitation to their table. I know...that is a weird thought. Other communities have tables besides the Church. And we need to understand that unless we invite them to our table, we will never be invited to theirs. And unless we can be invited to their tables, we may be terminating what is probably the "new" way of evangelism. Table fellowship. Surrounding the table. Living life. Talking on things that really matter.
This post isn't specifically about the LGBTQ community and the Church as much as it is about, the Church engaging every other community. We need to take advantage of invitations to other tables. Otherwise we will become radically dependent on inviting others to ours and hoping they show up. And that can be effective to a certain extent, but is not the best way to meet people where they are.
Think of it this way. How many times have you said, or your pastor has said, "This is an event that you can invite people to that will never come to a church." We know that our invitations to church are ineffective. But, as Christians we also know that table fellowship changes lives. At the table there is healing, grace, mercy, peace and reconciliation. But table fellowship does not always mean it has to be on our terms.
And Church we need that. We need to say, "Yes, as a Christian, I can meet you on your terms. I don't have to dictate the flow. I don't have to change every fellowship into a Gospel presentation where you feel brow-beaten. I am secure enough to know that dining with you does not make me a bad person, or whatever it is that I am scared of." Now, in terms of this and my post about being a terrible Evangelical, let me say, I am not against evangelism. I just think we are losing ground...and invitations. And when we become so disgusting in the world's eyes that we no longer merit invitations, we need to reevaluate what's going on. Because though the teachings of Jesus are hard, He is still nonetheless calling men and women unto Himself still. And we are still called to be a part of that. And we cannot be effective in that if we are seen as self-righteous jackholes that no one wants around.
In our choices and lifestyle, we must remember that Jesus went into the homes of prostitutes and other sinners. He had no problem with it. He had no problem dining at their tables. So, why do we?