In Luke 5:27 Jesus is called to task by members of the religious community because he breaks bread with “tax collectors and sinners.” Jesus responds by saying that “It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick, I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repent.” (New International Version)
The gospel song, “I’m Gonna’ Sit at the Welcome Table’” provides insight into this scripture. The song includes the verses, “I’m gonna feast on milk and honey one of these days,” and “All God’s children gonna sit at the table.” It is sung from the perspective of the socially and spiritually oppressed. My “faith” in the teachings of Jesus are based on his ministry of inclusion and compassion. (I choose to avoid the notion of salvation.) If we were the host, who would be on our guest list? Or perhaps we’re dining alone... How would we set the Welcome Table? I believe the table must be set with understanding, patience, forgiveness, humor, responsibility, and gracefulness to name a few. Inclusion and compassion will forever be our healing grace.