All Are Welcome (ELW 641, Verse 2)
2 Let us build a house where prophets speak
And words are strong and true
Where all God’s children dare to seek
To dream God’s reign anew
Here the cross shall stand as witness
And a symbol of God’s grace
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus
All are welcome, all are welcome
All are welcome in this place
It should be no surprise that during a year-and-a-half of pandemic, congregations have been strained by vociferous disagreement. Anger and argument have cropped up in nearly every community of faith.
We who worship in these congregations are the same people who live and work in the world. Who we are “out there” comes with us into the sanctuary. Differences of opinion abound about what it means to have faith in the face of the devastating impacts of the viral physical, social, and spiritual infections that continue to ravage our local and global communities.
The pandemic has not revealed anything new. It has shown us who we are. And it is mostly deeply convicting. There is no “normal” to which we can or ought to return. We are called together to dream God’s reign, to claim the faith of Jesus, anew. The question for people of faith is, how will we lead?
“Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone
to heal and strengthen, serve and teach, and live the Word they’ve known.
Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God’s face;
let us bring an end to fear and danger:
All are welcome, all are welcome, in this place.” Amen.