Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am going to throw a party

Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
- John 2:3

The jury has ordered Frank Schaefer to be suspended from ministerial duties for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days if Frank Schaefer cannot agree to follow Discipline in its entirety, he must surrender orders.
I am going to throw a party.   I want it to be a place where people sit together, eat together, geek out about John Wesley, make potluck jokes, and never consider self-editing the gender of anyone’s love or spouse.  

It’s going to be in a brightly lit room on a warm night.  People will come in out of the cold, warming their hands in mugs of hot cider. More and more people will come in, welcomed by the radical hospitality of long hugs and noisy appreciation.  Those walking by will look in and see all the glowing faces, and, if they are exceptionally brave, know that by knocking on the door they will be welcomed with open arms too. 

All of us will be every inch ourselves and glory in that great gift of being alive, being lovable, being loved, and loving in return.  The cold chill of shame will be forgotten in the warmth of this home. 

I know that some of you will not take me up on this invitation.  Instead you’ll be clutching a book you and I both think is holy, but in different ways.  You’ll march away from my home.  My heart will be sad at the empty spaces around this table, wishing that the ones I love wouldn’t be left out in the cold.

And when the moment comes, we’ll all gather together in one room.  We’ll break out the bread and the cup and we will gave thanks to the one who created us, the one who taught us to love, and the one who brought us together.  All who wants to partake will be offered it, without hesitation, without qualification.  Bread, wine will be offered with dignity and compassion. 

You see, this isn’t my party, and this isn’t my table. 

And because this isn’t my party, and because it’s not my table, it won’t stop.  God’s invitation to come on in and participate in the work of love never ends.  

Those who think they define United Methodist might throw us out of the label, but they can’t throw us out of this party.  They might try to drown out our singing with their shouting, but they can’t overcome the party.  They might try to distract me or scare us from our love and our gentleness, but they can’t stop the party. 

I am going to throw a party.  Do you want to come?