Circles…

A colleague asked me the other day “What’s your favorite part of worship?”  Well, that’s easy for me to answer.  My favorite time in worship has to be coming to the Table: bringing all that I am and hope to be – my brokenness, my hopes, my doubts, my fears – to our God who receives and loves me, heals and restores me, blesses me, and then sends me out to be a blessing. But before we’re sent out at Forest Hill, we gather in a circle around the Table. We hold hands and share joys and celebrate all the beautiful images of God in our circle. No one is excluded from God’s circle, even if sometimes our pettiness, our fear or our lack of faith cause us to act otherwise. I heard once a wonderful quote by man with a great name, Empedocles: “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” That means that the center is Howard and John Murphy and Lola and Keylse and everyone else, and no one, not our developmentally challenged or gay members, not our theologically progressive or conservative folk, not our seekers or our doubters, are excluded. What a radical God we love and serve! We also sing and dance in that circle around the Table. How could we not when we’ve just experienced the magnitude of God’s love, the grace and peace of Christ and the joy of the Spirit in the Bread and the Cup? Yes, coming to the Table to receive the gifts of God for God’s people and then gathering in a circle to proclaim our unity in Christ is surely my favorite time in worship! That doesn’t mean I don’t love hearing scripture and preaching the Good News, the music and the prayers, the silence and the singing. Somehow it just makes sense though, when I come – unworthy as I may sometimes feel – to the Table; when I come, bringing my fears and my failings, my hopes and my dreams, to the Table of our Lord to receive the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing. It all just makes sense somehow and I know the blessing of God and of community and of circles that have no boundaries, of circles that include every one of us, even me. Thanks be to our Boundless God of Bread and Wine, of Circles and Handholding, of Presence and Images galore.

With gratefulness and joy, Susan

%d bloggers like this: