The gospel feast

10/17/2006

“Come sinners to the gospel feast, let every soul be Jesus' guest. . .” — Charles Wesley

 

 We are a people who bear a holy and expansive invitation: Let every soul be Jesus' guest.

 

I am engaging with clergy, district by district, in days of teaching, learning and dialogue. In these gatherings, we are considering ways to prepare open tables, open hearts, open doors, open minds in our communities. I am learning much as I receive the wisdom across our annual conference.

 

We confess that we have preferred to gather with people like ourselves – with skin like ours, with ideas like ours, with tastes like ours, with possessions like ours. We know that God calls us to a higher, better, richer life. 

 

Until 1939, the second hymn in Methodist hymnals was Come, Sinners to the Gospel Feast. Such is the priority of the theology of this hymn for United Methodists.

 

Let us live with this image: The gospel feast.

 

Let us live with this prayer: Let every soul be Jesus' guest.

 

Let us live with this vision: There need not one be left behind.

 

Let us live with this invitation: Come all the world; come. 

 

Let us live with this hope: In Christ a hearty welcome find.