At This Table, Everyone Is Welcome

Tom and I enjoyed listening to Christmas music as we drove up and down I-71 to see friends and family during December.  A new song that I heard, one that really stuck in my mind, was “At This Table” written by Idina Menzel.  It is on her new Christmas album.  I always think it is odd when a Jewish singer records a Christmas album, but this one song is wonderful.  Maybe she just sees it as another acting role.

“At This Table” isn’t really about Christmas, although you can imagine a gathering of friends at Christmas in the song.  You can watch her recording of the song by clicking here.  Here are the lyrics:

At this table, everyone is welcome.
At this table, everyone is seen.
At this table, everybody matters
No one falls between.
At this table, you can say whatever.
At this table, you can speak your mind.
At this table, everything’s forgiven
There’s enough for everyone.

So come as you are.
Remember that the door is always open.
Yes, come as you are
The perfect gift that you can bring is your heart.

At this table, there will be no judgement.
At this table, mercy has a seat.
At this table, we’re all sons and daughters
There’s no place I’d rather be.

So come as you are
Remember that the door is always open.
Come as you are
The perfect gift that you can bring is your heart.

I only heard this song on the radio once, but I immediately thought it would be a perfect song for during communion.  Can’t you imagine Jesus saying this to people as they come forward to share in his broken body?  To share in the blood shed for us?  Mercy has a seat – we’re all sons and daughters.

Hearing this song reminds me of the parable Jesus told about the wedding banquet in Matthew 22:8-10.  Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.  So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

How can you welcome more people to the table in 2020?  Jesus invites everyone to come, even those we would never choose to invite ourselves.  He doesn’t ask us to judge or separate out who deserves the invitation.  Instead, Jesus welcomes all and asks us to love as he loves.  So pull out a seat because you are welcome at the table.  Maybe you can find someone to invite who never knew he or she was welcome.