“Come and dine, the master calleth, come and dine, There is plenty at God’s table all the time, He who fed the multitudes turned the water into wine. Come and dine the master calleth, come and dine, come and dine.”
This is a table grace I learned as kid, and I loved singing it as loudly as possible—stomping my feet and clapping my hands, like a barn dance. It’s a good way to pray, barn dancing, shouting for joy, praising with all your strength. Worship of God is both silence and holding a mystery, and wild abandon in a mystery. We need both, and everything in between.
Our texts this week fall more into the partying end of the spectrum: Jesus performs his first sign at a wedding—after all the guests have become drunk. Isaiah tells Israel to rejoice as if it were in a wedding. In other words, God’s love is euphoria and laughter and happy tears, as such as it is the profound moving in the primeval depths of the soul.
When we meet as a congregation, we are to celebrate, with both solemnity and joy. Our liturgy makes room for both. As we gather, we gather in quietly, to leave room for introspection and preparation. As the prelude plays, we can meditate and examine ourselves. After Confession and Forgiveness we sing—loudly, joyfully, with gusto. Then there’s the kyrie, a more reflective sung prayer, then the hymn of praise, which is like a ticker tape victory parade. There’s room for everything—solemn joy, barn dancing, lament, praise.
See you at church!