Tomorrow evening we host the annual Association of Bearsden Churches Unity Supper. We provide the floor-space along with a number of folk who will dine with others from all the different congregations in Bearsden.
This is a good thing, not just for the obvious ‘it’s good to get together’ but for deeper reasons too.
One is that while we can’t truly share worship together we can all eat together, and Jesus ate with more sinners than we probably know. He turned the moment into a sacred moment, one of unconditional love and transformation. It changed people’s lives every time. It’s just a pity we can’t do that when we formally eat bread and wine.
It is good also because we ave found that when we do things on our own, those who don’t understand the church (possibly half our congregations and most of our ministry) don’t trust us, but when we do things with others in partnership, the trust levels go way up because ‘they can’t all be out to get us’.
Another thing why doing unity this way, over a meal and a talk about how a group of people engage with the world is because God isn’t a Christian. This is quite a significant fact. God isn’t Jewish either or Muslim or any particular faith. God is love. Yes, God is revealed in Jesus but Jesus wasn’t a Christian either.
Martin Luther King said (appropriate time for a quote given the mashinations in the US at the moment): We’ve inherited a large house in which we have to live together... who, because we can never again live apart, we must somehow learn to live with each other in peace.
The church in all its denominations has had a few blips in that department, though it has some fabulous positive role-modeling there too but, eating together: if we can get the rules right there, and behave ourselves at table and make sure everyone is fed then that is as good a start with Christian Unity than anything else we’ve done.
Actually, it’s as good a start with inter-faith dialogue, and community living than anything else. Let’s eat.