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 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor

  IDENTITY

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

This article shared 3114 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 3114 times since Sat Oct 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The FBI, Loaves of Bread, Corruption, and Reform 2023-01-25
- When I was 13 years old I used to ride shot gun with my uncle A. on his Italian bread truck deliveries. My job was to enter the store with him and remove the old, stale loaves of bread while he ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Democrats and trans issues, political wins, gay bars, HIV drug 2023-01-08
- Republicans and Democrats differ widely in their views on gender identity and transgender issues—but there are notable differences among Democrats, too, especially by race and ethnicity, according to Pew Research. Overall, 60% of U.S. adults say ...


Gay News

Letter to the Editor: Pope Benedict XVI passes away 2023-01-02
- The Rainbow Sash Movement mourns the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31 in the Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, known most recently as the pontiff who renounced the papacy—but who was situated squarely ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT It's The End...again and again and again ... 2023-01-01
- Jesus thought the end of the world would occur during his lifetime.* As Jesus hanged dying on the cross, he had to deal with the fact that the world had not ended. Paul thought he understood ...


Gay News

Dignity USA: LGBTQ+ Catholics recall Pope Benedict XVI's reign as causing LGBTQ+s tremendous damage 2022-12-31
-- From a press release - Dec. 31, 2022. The passing of former Pope Benedict XVI "marks what is, hopefully, the end of a long, painful era for LGBTQIA+ Catholics, our families, and the entire church," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of ...


Gay News

OPINION Remember the youngest victims of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination 2022-12-19
- On Dec. 13, the Ohio State Board of Education voted 10-7 in favor of a non-binding resolution opposing proposed changes to the federal government's Title IX protecting LGBTQ+ students. It was just one more blow for ...


Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess 2022-11-18
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner 2022-11-18
- WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...


Gay News

GUEST EDITORIAL The Workers' Rights Amendment is a vote for equality 2022-11-01
- It is the American Dream: Work hard and you can achieve a middle-class life. This narrative is a broken bargain for too many in today's workforce. A far worse bargain exists for the LGBTQ+ community, especially ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The cults of Jesus, Putin and Trump 2022-10-21
- Originalist Christian nationalism. They say politics makes strange bedfellows. There is none stranger than the curious linking of Jesus to the cults of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the faith and politics of an alarming ...


Gay News

LETTER A concerning change at the Art Institute 2022-09-28
- I have a fond, reverent remembrance of the first time I encountered Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) at the Art Institute nearly a decade ago. I was encouraged by a nearby guide to ...


Gay News

LETTER Vote 'yes' for the environment 2022-09-21
- Concerned about climate change? Interested in protecting our precious resources of breathable air, drinkable water, and native habitat? Want to create jobs while mitigating local flooding? Here's a way: in the upcoming midterm election, vote YES ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The art of citizenship 2022, or night sweats of a classical humanist get worse … 2022-09-08
- Ten years ago this September, I published my first op-ed for Windy City Times: The art of citizenship 2012, or night sweats of a classical humanist. I wrote this op-ed because of the serious damage being ...


Gay News

Vallas speaks at event of group known for anti-LGBTQ+ views [UPDATE] 2022-08-01
- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois—a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, The Chicago Reader reported. The group hosted ...


 




Copyright © 2023 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
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     
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.