All Are Welcome

All Are Welcome

Marty Haugen's wonderful hymn text paints images that are fully aligned with the biblical texts we have been reading this week. The church is not a wood or stone building but a people with outstretched arms and hands that reach out to heal, to serve, to comfort and strengthen those who are hurting, hungering, and mourning. God's people not only hear the Word but "live" it. In the house that God builds it is the outcast and stranger that "bear the image of God's face." In the house that God desires, the welcome of God's people comforts all who enter so that fear and danger can be addressed with compassion and mutual consolation.

Can our places be welcoming to all? Can our lives embrace a Word that is so other-centered? In God's justice and under Jesus' cross, all are welcome. All?

Holy and merciful God, you promise your kingdom to the lost and lowly. May we be instruments of this promise for all. Make our welcome wide, so that the world may see in us your Son, Jesus, who died that all be know your loving embrace. Amen.
Let us build a house
where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where
saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.

Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
Rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions;

Let us build a house where prophets speak,
And words are strong and true,
Where all God's children dare to seek
To dream God's reign anew.

Here the cross shall stand as witness
And a symbol of God's grace;
Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:

Let us build a house where love is found
In water, wine and wheat:
A banquet hall on holy ground,
Where peace and justice meet.

Here the love of God, through Jesus,
Is revealed in time and space;
As we share in Christ the feast that frees us:

All are welcome, all are welcome,
All are welcome in this place.

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