it would not have been god’s table…

[i wrote this to be used at a blessing on Sunday, for one of the [lay] chaplains who works in the prison system. He’s been chaplain for a while, but has only just been given permission to do the sacraments.]

On their own, the bread and wine are nothing.
To become a foretaste and a promise
of love made real and a world made whole,
they need a story and a blessing
and a people who believe…

It would not have been God’s table
if they hadn’t all been gathered around it:
the betrayer and the friend
the power-hungry and the justice seeker
the faithful and the fickle.

When Jesus poured the wine, and the bread was broken;
when everyone could eat –
the outcast and the beloved
the arrogant and the gracious
the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by –
the table became a foretaste
of love made real
and of a world made whole.

Your company at the table, Ross,
will include the betrayer and the beloved
the wrong-doer and the wrongly done by.

It would not be God’s table without them.

And the promise is
that when you are together,
when you tell the story and give the blessing
when you break the bread and pour the wine
you will discover a foretaste
of love made real
and of a world made whole.


  1. David Chafin

    Hi! This was wonderful. May I use it? I serve as the chair of the ordaining body of my judicatory, and it really is a beutiful expression of our life together as chuch. Please email me: Thanks!

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