The readings for tomorrow* are about welcoming the stranger (the eager or curious can find the gospel reading here
), and that is what I want to preach about - it's something our community needs to think about. I've been thinking about the dual roles of host & guest, influenced by my (small) knowledge of Japanese religion - that we are both host and guest, each welcoming the other and meeting Christ in the other in a dance, of sorts. (Clearly I need to clarify these thoughts before I preach.)
Another blogger I follow posted this poem
, and I loved the way it fit with what I was considering while widening it. It reminds me a bit of the George Herbert poem, Love Bade Me Welcome (poem here
, musical setting by Vaughan Williams here
Now I'm sharing it. Enjoy.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
*The first reading is the story often referred to as the binding of Isaac
. I'm not sure what I'll do with it - I'd rather ignore it, but it's not a story that lends itself to reading in church and then leaving aside.