Everybody Gets Place at the Table

This is at the core of what I believe it means to be Christian. Jesus invites us all to the table. There is enough for everyone, and everyone has a place.  As Christians, we don’t get to choose who we serve, and we don’t get to decide who gets a place at the table.

In my eyes, Sara Sanders Huckabee is the worst kind of people. She has completely deserted the values of honesty, compassion and kindness, and yet cloaks herself in Christianity. She has lied to the press, defended adultery and justified jailing children who had been taken from their parents by our own government.

I don’t want her at my table. She doesn’t deserve to be at my table. I can’t imagine having her come to the communion table or the potluck table at the church where I serve when she has trampled on the rights and values of so many of our members. Indeed, an article in the New Yorker says that she has excluded herself from the table by her actions, and I tend to agree with them.

But as painful and uncomfortable and unpalatable as it is to say this: Sara Sanders Huckabee has a place at my table, and she certainly has a place at the table of Jesus Christ. The minute I start to decide who does and doesn’t have a place at the table of Jesus Christ, I begin a journey down a slippery slope that leads me to decide that more people I have decided are morally bankrupt, ethically challenged or just plain wrong don’t have a place either. And that is not a choice I get to make.

Why would I include anyone at my own table who has been so hell-bent on exclusion?  Because the table–dinner, diner, breakfast, communion–is a place of transformation. Something powerful happens when people sit down and break bread together.  Barriers are broken. Laughter is shared.  Bellies are filled. People are changed.  Does everyone at the table agree? No. The table is also where drama lives and disagreements get aired loudly–but everyone stays for dessert.

We who find the current administration’s policies and values unacceptable don’t have snowball’s chance in hell of changing anything if we exclude the excluders and hate the haters and push away those who don’t agree with us.  To say they don’t belong at the table is to give up on ever having anything other than an extremely polarized United States of America.

I refuse to go down the road I’ve watched so many other Christians travel over the last few months. I will not give up on what I say I believe. We are all beloved children of God. Jesus calls us to serve everyone–not just the people who make us comfortable. And everyone has a place at the table.   These beliefs are being challenged, more than ever, every day. But let’s not let them go.

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