Marty Haugen's wonderful hymn text paints images that are fully aligned with the biblical texts we have been reading this week. The church is not a wood or stone building but a people with outstretched arms and hands that reach out to heal, to serve, to comfort and strengthen those who are hurting, hungering, and mourning. God's people not only hear the Word but "live" it. In the house that God builds it is the outcast and stranger that "bear the image of God's face." In the house that God desires, the welcome of God's people comforts all who enter so that fear and danger can be addressed with compassion and mutual consolation.
Can our places be welcoming to all? Can our lives embrace a Word that is so other-centered? In God's justice and under Jesus' cross, all are welcome. All?
The text for today's hymn cannot be published due to copyright limitations. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Holy and merciful God, you promise your kingdom to the lost and lowly. May we be instruments of this promise for all. Make our welcome wide, so that the world may see in us your Son, Jesus, who died that all be know your loving embrace. Amen.