What does it mean to belong? The Internet gives a plethora of meanings including owning something like a car or being part of a club. Most everyone wants to belong to something because it makes our presence in the world real and vital. We are well trained in identifying the groups or labels in which we belong based on categories like the color of our skin or our gender. Think about all of the times we are asked for our information that requires us to check a box identifying us as male/female, Caucasian or Black or Latino or divorced/single/married. All of these labels identify us in some way in an official capacity and yet these groups can also separate us in thinking I am “this” but not “that.”
Last Sunday I was asked to serve communion. As people received their bread and turned to dip their bread into the cup I was holding, I offered them these words, “the blood of Christ shed for you.” Most of them looked directly at me waiting to hear the words before they dipped their bread. In that moment I felt privileged to say those words to the people of God. I had no idea who they were or which box they checked - gay, straight, divorced, single, married, happy or sad – they were coming to the table of grace. Without prejudice they were God’s guests seeking the love and grace that God offered them. They belonged to God’s family. In that moment I knew that I belonged to this church family but more importantly to God’s family.