I’m hearing Romans call to me this week. Every time we gather around the communion table (this Sunday, being the first Sunday for us), I say something about looking around and noticing who is not at the table with us today – either by choice, because of illness, or because we haven’t invited them. I kind of just say it, but never have gone into depth as to why I say that with the congregation.
Paul’s cry of despair for his brothers and sisters who haven’t listened to his message, who don’t believe him and have turned away for that reason seems like a good way to make that message more explicit. I think I’m going to ask the congregation during the sermon time to think about the people in the community – their co-workers, family members, neighbors – who they also care deeply for and who they would like to share the love of God with. I’m going to have them write down those names and then make special handwritten invitations to those people to join us for our big fall kickoff at the end of the month.
Our theme is “back to the basics” so it would be a good time for people who are new or who have been away for a while to get back into the swing of things.
I also want to tie in the gospel message about Jesus having compassion on the people and wanting to feed them all – and how Christ continues to want to gather all of us around the table and to share God’s abundance with us.