Daily Video: A Place At the Table #hymnsofsocialjustice

85QB2The Jesus Christ that I read about in the scriptures always taught a doctrine of inclusion.  Here are some of the things that He said or that were said about Him:

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. – Matt 19:14

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. – Matt 19:19

If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. – Matt 19:21

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  – Mark 16:15

And he said The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  To preach the acceptable year of the them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. – Luke 4:18-19

He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. – 2 Nephi 26:33

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.  – Alma 7:12

For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all – Doctrine and Covenants 19:16

I quote all of these to make a point.  There is no asterisk in any of these words from or about the One that I worship as my Savior and My God.  In none of these, or in any scripture describing Christ’s atonement and grace, is there a line that says, “Unless you are LGBT,” “Unless you are of another race,” “unless you are from another country,” or another culture, etc., etc., etc.  The Grace and love of Christ and our Great Eternal Parents is for all – Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Transgender, White, Black, Muslim, Atheist,  etc, etc…We are ALL DEARLY BELOVED children of God.  All.  And we all get to come unto Him.  ALL. There is a place for ALL at His table.  Christ LIVED this as He ate with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, and other unpopular social groups.  UNFORTUNATELY, modern Christians far too often teach and live a doctrine of Exclusion.  People who are different become the “other” and are excluded.

1551650_276052439216214_428928331_nThis brings me to my “Hymn of Social Justice.”  This one is actually, factually, and truly a hymn that has been published in a number of Christian Hymnals, including the new Community of Christ hymnal, since it was first published in 2008.  It is called “For Every One Born” and is by Shirley Erena Murray.  Ms. Murray states that she wrote the hymn in 1998 while doing work for Amnesty International because “I couldn’t find anything to reflect a broad overview of human rights in any hymnbook.”  She tried to write a hymn that discussed social justice and human rights in a gospel context.  Speaking speciffically of the LGBT community in relation to her Hymn Murray said, “in places where exclusion by the Church is a source of injustice and pain, as with the gay and lesbian communities, (For Everyone Born) has been used to ask for a place at the table, along with every other believer.”  Here is the chorus:

 And God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace;
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice, and joy.

Please enjoy this performance by the First Plymouth Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.

4 replies »

  1. I love that hymn “For Everyone Born”. We sing it frequently at church. I am so happy that our church has chosen to move in our theology/doctrine. It is my prayer that your church will soon be open to more open understanding of the scriptures and find their way down the path of accepting all as Jesus taught. I know we had to be careful as members in some countries could be put to death for even being associated with a group that supports LBGT. We had to hold national conferences where those countries who could, addressed and voted to accept a broader understanding of marriage as being between two consenting adults, not just between a man and a woman. We also voted to accept ordination of LGBT as long as they were in a long term committed relationship – marriage where it is legal, or through a commitment ceremony in those states where gay marriage is not yet legal. This move was not without some pain. Just as when our church began to ordain women, there was division. However all in all, this latest move has been freeing for all of us no matter our life style. Finally, the gifts of some of our members who before could not share, are blessing our communities of peace, love, hope, and joy. Perhaps we are finally beginning to demonstrate the seriousness of our commitment to Peace just as our temple is dedicated to promoting peace.

  2. Thank you for your comments Jennifer Redfern. They are wonderful and insightful. I am inspired by what the Community of Christ has done to navigate such tricky waters. The Community of Christ’s Mission of Peace and their use of their Temple is very inspiring to me.

  3. SOME Changes have been made to this post to protect the privacy of the individual involved and to make it more generally applicable to discrimination against the LGBT community

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