Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast” reminds us that Christ, the host, invites all persons to the table, that no one be left behind.
“Come, sinners, to the gospel feast. Let every soul be Jesus’ guest. There need not one be left behind for God hath bid all humankind.”
This is one of Charles Wesley’s most important hymns. It’s the only hymn that appears twice in The United Methodist Hymnal. It appears in the communion section and it appears again in the invitation section.
As we gather at Annual Conference, we begin together at the Lord’s table. This beautiful paten and chalice was crafted by one of our friends in the Beacon district and you will see on the paten and on the chalice eight symbols, each a symbol of one of our districts. As we come toward this table, we live the life that God intends for us.
The New Testament scholar, N. T. Wright, wrote about this Holy Meal. When Jesus gathered with his followers for that last meal before his death, he did not give them a lecture or even a theology. Rather he gave them a meal so that they would understand his life, his death, and his resurrection.
As we gather at this table, we acknowledge once again our need for God. We acknowledge our kinship with all who are also invited to this table. We acknowledge Christ as Host of this table. As we gather for communion in our local churches, and very soon as an Annual Conference, may God’s spirit descend upon us once more, making us one with God, one with each other, and one in mission to all the world.