gather: Red Letter Challenge

If there is one thing I have missed during the pandemic, it is meeting family and friends to gather around tables. There is just something magical about sitting with others, sharing food and drink and laughter. Gathering in general is what we are made to do. This is the heart of what I mean when I say we are “better together.”

Gathering for meals, communion especially, is perhaps my favorite way to gather. A song I have shared in the context of such worship is Gather Us In. Speaking about who is welcome and what our gathering can mean, the song is a celebration and a challenge. Take a look or better yet, search a recording and sing along.

Gather Us In
by Marty Haugen

Here in this place new light is streaming
Now is the darkness vanished away
See in this space our fears and our dreamings
Brought here to you in the light of this day
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken
Gather us in, the blind and the lame
Call to us now and we shall awaken
We shall arise at the sound of our name

We are the young, our lives are a mystery
We are the old who yearn for your face
We have been sung throughout all of history
Called to be light to the whole human race
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty
Gather us in, the proud and the strong
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly
Give us the courage to enter the song

Here we will take the wine and the water
Here we will take the bread of new birth
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters
Call us anew to be salt for the earth
Give us to drink the wine of compassion
Give us to eat the bread that is you
Nourish us well and teach us to fashion
Lives that are holy and hearts that are true

Not in the dark of buildings confining
Not in some heaven light years away
But here in this place the new light is shining
Now is the kingdom, now is the day
Gather us in and hold us forever
Gather us in and make us your own
Gather us in, all peoples together
Fire of love in our flesh and our bones
Fire of love in our flesh and our bones

That is good stuff. May be gather together in all the safe ways we can now and may we find ourselves around tables again soon.

Life is better together,
Shawn

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