Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

SPIRITUALITY: Come to the Table!
by Amy Matheny
2005-10-01

This article shared 2991 times since Sat Oct 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In 1998 I came back to the table. Why did I? I heard a communion service with Reverend Greg Dell at Broadway United Methodist Church that changed me deeply. That Spring day when I walked back to the communion table was before Rev. Dell's trial and before all of the national attention on gays in the church. It was just a quiet regular Sunday worship service. I had been asked to sing and that was why I was at church. Or so I thought. Of course, I now know I was at that church on that day to get this invitation to the table. And it caught me so by surprise to hear this man invite me, a lesbian, to the communion table. And to invite all of us by proclaiming our identities, our sexualities, our labels, our uniqueness as welcome there. This month he shares with us this liturgy of communion. If you get a chance, come receive communion and come to the table the first Sunday of any month with Reverend Dell at Broadway United Methodist Church in Lakeview. All are welcome.

Rev. Greg Dell

The Eucharist, Communion, the Lord's Supper. It goes by many names and its interpretation is as varied as the movements and cultures of the Christian faith. But the sacrament of Holy Communion is a ritual that all Christians value and practice to one degree or another. For many, if not most, it is the very center of the Christian worship experience. It involves receiving bread or a wafer and wine or grape juice as a recollection of what the Bible says was an action of Jesus. The Biblical story says that on the night before his crucifixion Jesus was sharing a final meal, very likely a Seder meal, with his followers. The Seder meal was the beginning of Passover, the Jewish commemoration of their liberation from Egyptian slavery at the time of Moses. In the midst of that celebratory meal, Jesus is described as interrupting the proceedings with the institution of the sacrament.

From the earliest times, Christians have remembered that ritual using a variety of liturgies or interpretations. What follows is a contribution to that variety. It is an approximation of The Invitation and Words of Institution that I use and some have found meaningful at Broadway United Methodist Church. But its setting could be any group of Christians celebrating the full inclusion of God's table.

The Invitation

Let's be clear. It is Christ who is host at this table. It is God who provides the elements. When we understand that truth we understand who is to be included at this meal. Any child of God—anyone who has known the power of brokenness and the hope of new life—that person is invited. No church or authority dare deny access to one of God's children. Every expression of the diverse image of God created in humanity—every age, every size, every color, every gender, every sexual orientation is welcome here. You don't qualify because you understand. Who really understands this mystery? You qualify because you choose to respond not because you belong to a particular church or have a particular understanding. Come to the feast!

The Words of Institution

Even from the scriptural accounts, it doesn't seem like Jesus wanted to start a new religious ritual when he first lifted the bread and cup. It's more like he wanted to help his friends understand something about what was going to happen the next day, something about life beyond that next day, something about all of life, and something about God.

He lifted the bread—that normal, most basic of foods—he held it up in order that all those sisters and brothers who had followed him off and on for the three years of his ministry might see. He wanted them to see the beauty of the bread. Bread in its wholeness is beautiful. It is an expression of the harmony of a wonderfully diverse creation coming together like a symphony. It is sunlight and rain, seed and soil, patience, impatience, human sweat and toil, an oven's searing heat, and nature's cooling breezes—all working, playing together. It is a wonder.

And then he broke it. He tore it apart and said, 'This is the way it is, the way it has been, the way it will be. The beauty that God creates is broken. It will be broken on that cross tomorrow but it is broken again and again in your lives and in history. Every injustice, every act of bigotry, every rampaging disease, every famine, every abuse of human life or creation's balance is the brokenness of my body, this loaf, all of the cosmos, again and again.'

And then he said, 'Take and eat.' That's right, eat. Know that you can eat. You can be fed, even when you're broken, even when the world is broken. God sets it up that way. You're not alone, not even there. You don't need to run from the brokenness; you can enter it, you can live even there. Take, receive, eat.

We hold that brokenness, weep over it, rage at it. And even as we do, Jesus lifts the cup. And he says, 'This is the way it can be. This is the cup of the new covenant, a new promise. It is my very life energy—my blood, and it is poured out for you! Why? Because God won't let the brokenness have the last word. The wild intoxicating cup of life has the last word: resurrection not crucifixion. See how, even now—as you dip the jagged edges of that morsel of bread into the cup—the healing begins. The promise surrounds and begins the transformation of the wounds. Take and drink this cup poured out for you and for many for the healing of the brokenness—which is what the forgiveness of sin is really all about.'

The statistical odds aren't with the cup, they're with the brokenness. But be assured, God is with the cup. And every small victory for justice, every new birth of hope against the odds, every healing moment, is a declaration that God won't leave it alone—won't leave us alone—until love and life get the victory.

So, now, come to the banquet!

I hope you find this helpful or at least provocative. In an age and society where Christianity is often a weapon used to oppress and discriminate against folks who are outcast or assigned to the 'margin,' remembering the actions and words of Jesus in their original context may be long overdue!


This article shared 2991 times since Sat Oct 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Thanksgiving is a time to reflect 2021-11-24
- Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for a God that created us and loves us. The sins of racism, sexism, ageism and classicism are neoclassic examples of how we have fallen short. We have come ...


Gay News

VIEWS Young people need to listen to LGBTQ elders' intergenerational experiences 2021-11-20
- For one of my first Windy City Times assignments, I was lucky enough to spend nearly three hours interviewing longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Michael O'Connor. As queer individuals living in Chicago in 2021, we had plenty in ...


Gay News

VIEWS Reporting on queers of color needs to investigate absence as much as presence 2021-11-19
- Earlier this month, I pitched a Windy City Times article that sought to explore how role playing games (RPGs), such as Dungeons & Dragons, enable queer people of color (QPOC) to explore their gender and sexuality ...


Gay News

VIEWS In defense of the word 'lesbian' 2021-11-19
- When I decided to come out to my mom, I wanted to wait until I could say the word "lesbian" out loud. But as I sat her down, I tripped over the long string of letters. "Mom, I'm gay," I blurted ...


Gay News

VIEWS Google and Chicago's segregated LGBTQ+ community 2021-11-19
- I was a little baby queer when I moved to Chicago last year. I come from a traditional, cookie-cutter Connecticut town where Vineyard Vines and Sunday school were the standards. So, for a LatinX queer person—who ...


Gay News

OP-ED The Black church was one of R. Kelly's enablers 2021-10-13
- The long-awaited justice for R. Kelly's survivors finally came last month when a New York federal jury found him guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. For nearly 30 years, underage Black girls and their families have ...


Gay News

VIEWS Finding the Crossroads 2021-10-08
By Martha Miller - The first time I saw a psychic, I was 19 and my friend Sandy and I drove to Jacksonville to see an old woman who read cards. We were young and it was fun going to her old house where a ...


Gay News

TRAVEL Conde Nast readers select The Gwen as Chicago's best hotel 2021-10-05
- Conde Nast Traveler's readers have spoken—and their views of Chicago's hotels are distinctly different from those of another top travel publication. While Viceroy Chicago topped Travel + Leisure's readers' list of local spots to stay, ...


Gay News

SAVOR South Branch Tavern & Grille 2021-08-19
- Before taking a bite of anything at South Branch Tavern & Grille (100 S. Wacker Dr.; https://www.southbranchchicago.com/), patrons are likely to be impressed. The reason lies in the picturesque views surrounding the spot. Ensconced near some ...


Gay News

VIEWS U.S. Senators: It's time to act against anti-LGBTQ discrimination 2021-07-28
- Georgia has had the eyes of the nation on it for some time now. It's just over five years since people across Georgia braced themselves as lawmakers sent sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation to the desk of then-Governor ...


Gay News

OP-ED Foreign drug pricing puts America's most vulnerable patients last 2021-07-03
By Guy Anthony - It's no coincidence that American companies led the charge to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Numerous policies—from strong patent protections to a welcoming immigration system—help ensure that the world's smartest scientists can ...


Gay News

Op-Ed: Elevating 'T' in LGBTQ: State government, transgender equity in 21st century 2021-06-28
By Illinois state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz - In recent decades, our laws, pop culture and morality have shifted dramatically for same-sex couples. Our LGBTQ+ neighbors are interwoven into the fabric of our communities now more than ever. We celebrate this recognition and indeed ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Pride at work 2021-06-23
- Pride Month is a chance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people to be proud and visible in a world that tells us not to be. Pride Month is a chance to celebrate and ...


Gay News

LETTER: Pride, a time for hope 2021-06-12
- Pride is so much more than a parade, a march or even a demonstration for the LGBTQAI community. In other words, this is an opportunity for us to celebrate our diversity among our various communities, and ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Tulsa Race Massacre reparations would begin the healing 2021-05-31
- When HBO's 2019 Watchmen series opened with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and HBO's 2020 Lovecraft Country series closed with scenes from the riots, most Americans had never heard of the event—even Tulsans. On May 19, ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.