In a world that values inclusion, Jesus' words in the parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22) are a soothing balm for anyone who feels abandoned or left out.
Jesus' message: EVERYONE is invited to come to the table.
So, let's set down that silly lie that church & God are only for perfect people, and pick up the truth: Jesus is hope for all of us.
He stood in the gap for the misfits, the marginalized, the outcasts - and he turns the table on those haughty & proud in their religiosity: throwing the doors open to welcome us all (especially those who feel broken & too far gone).
He welcomes YOU & he calls you CHOSEN.
This song, "Come to the Table", by Sidewalk Prophets, covered here by the angelic Melody Joy Cloud, paints this picture well.
"We all start on the outside
The outside looking in.
This is where grace begins.
We were hungry we were thirsty with nothing left to give, oh the shape that we were in!
Just when all hope seemed lost, Love opened the door for us. He said come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed.
Take your place beside the Savior. Sit down and be set free. Come to the table
Come meet this mightly crew of misfits: these liars and these thiefs, there's no one unwelcome here.
So that sin and shame that you brought with you, you can leave it at the door. Let mercy draw you near.
To the thief and to the doubter.
To the hero and the coward
To the prisoner and the soldier. To the young and to the older.
All who hunger all who thirst.
All the last and all the first.
All the paupers and the prince's.
All who fail you've been forgiven.
All who dream and all who suffer
All who loved and lost another
All the chained and all the free
All who follow all who lead
Anyone who's been let down
All the lost you have been found
All who have been labeled right or wrong
To everyone who hears this song
Come to the table.