However you might imagine God, imagine that God gives a feast; and God sets a festive table laden, creaking, with an abundance of good things. There is enough for everyone and more – for whoever comes, even if everyone comes. And imagine God sending an invitation to this festive feast. God invites people from north and south, east and west: men and women, young and old, whole and broken, the well and the sick, those who see and the those who do not see, those who walk and those who cannot walk, the good and the bad, all sinners alike, rich and poor, content and wanting, regardless of race or creedal belief system, regardless of nation or ethnicity. . . .
And imagine yourself coming to that festive table in stunned awe for its abundance and wondering whether this is for you as well. And yes, it is for you. And by what good fortune you cannot imagine. Or maybe you simply remember your manners and thank your host.
Then imagine after all have eaten, the chairs are pushed back, and everyone lingers and for the first time, everyone notices who all is there. Imagine, everyone, satisfied, pushed back enjoying the company, singing songs of joyful thanksgiving.
Of course, this is metaphoric language that can speak to the state of the world in which there is war and greed and hatred and bloodshed, and hunger and thirsting and crushing poverty and terrifying need. . . . And also there is unbelievable abundance. This is the world, the reality, to which the Reforming Church is called and sent to serve. And imagine, the Reforming Church serves God who gives this feast. The Reforming Church serves God, preparing this feast and setting this table, carrying God’s invitation everywhere, to everyone, making the way to the table easy, ensuring that the best parts of the feast are shared and shared equally, and serving to ensure that there is plenty and more to share.
This is the mission of the Reforming Church. This service is its offering to God, a fragrant offering rising up to God, its prayer rising as incense.