All are Welcome
One of my favorite Psalms (23) includes the line saying that God prepares His table (in the presence of enemies) and anoints us with oil. Our cups overflowing. My understanding is that God, in His, or Her, infinite wisdom, welcomes us regardless of who we are and what we are. All we need to do is show up.
Everyone is welcome at this table; I don’t care what others say, because if we exclude anyone for any reason, we are going against God’s will. A Black representative to congress in the 1960s and 1970s, Shirley Chisholm, added to this saying that if there is not a chair for you bring your own folding chair. She understood that all are welcome to God’s table.
To accept this basic tenant of faith, we must have peace in our hearts, not just on our tongues. If we do not work for this inner peace, or in this case inclusion, we are not at peace; we are not peacemakers and therefore are not children of God, the God of peace and love.
We are commanded by Jesus to love our enemies. He did not place any stipulations or reasons that allow us not to love our enemies. When we do love all, when we are honest peacemakers, accepting everyone as God made them, we open our hearts to true love for all mankind. This love allows us to heal from our own wounds and disappointments, and eventually, allows other to see how happy and content we are. My feelings are that given time, those who oppose accepting everyone will want to enjoy the freedom and happiness we have.
Wow, I sound like a preacher on a Sunday morning.
Fear of the other leads us into many dangerous areas. There are many things that I fear, especially in the social climate of the world today. I was born during World War Two, was in the Marine Corps during Vietnam, and had a son who was part of the invasion of Iraq earlier this century. These now are times just as frightening; can we again be going down the path to warfare, and will other young men and women have to sacrifice their lives to prevent all people from sitting at God’s table?
Are we faithful? Are we humble enough to be sincerely faithful? Ego and pride are great obstacles to being honest and faithful. One of my daily prayers is to ask God’s help in reminding me that everyone is my sibling. I try not to spew hateful language about those I disagree with. Most times, I am successful, but I still think and feel the hatred growing within me. I love all people, even when inside me, I question how I can love a certain individual because of all the things he does to hurt me. Outwardly, I can turn the other cheek; inwardly, Inwardly, I find this difficult.
The outcome is my turmoil, preventing me from realizing true inner peace with myself as a child of God. Each day I pray that God will renew my spirit again and again to stand firm in my Love for Him and all his children.