The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The feast for all

Peace—Christ’s peace—is a place at the table where the resurrected Lord comes to offer peace to his followers. That peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice. As hymn writer Lori True says, “God will delight when we are creators of justice and joy” (A Place at the Table; available from GIA Publications).

When Christ called on his followers to offer forgiveness in his name, he was inviting them to make room at the table for those for whom society has found no room. The Day of Resurrection isn’t our private joy to be hoarded and conserved. It’s a magnanimous gesture proclaiming a place at the table for everyone.

I belong to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is dedicated to fighting injustice and intolerance through the legal system. It’s despised by some. Perhaps it is so hated because it fights for a place at the table for all of God’s children, and some of us just don’t want to share. Such peace as our Lord demonstrated can be costly.

The peace of God doesn’t square with the ways of the world. In our communion liturgy we ask God to “gather the hopes and the dreams of all.” We ask Christ to “grace our table with your presence and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.”

The peace of Christ we share as we come to the table is that foretaste: It sets a place at the table for all—saints and sinners, just and unjust, abuser and abused. The table is a place for mercy, offering a new way to live together. Easter celebrates this new era in the life of God’s people, the breaking in of the peace of God.

So this Easter we sing and shout, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” because we believe and live as if there are, indeed, places at the table for all of God’s children.

This week's front page features:

Two parts faith, one part humor: Do the two mix? (Illustration at right.)

A laughing matter: Iowa congregation reaches out with laughter club.

The Easter crowd: I used to criticize these occasional worshipers, but not now.

Fun in adult Sunday school? "People love to learn when laughing is involved."

Also: Calling all members.

Also: Doing the impossible.

Also: Alleluia!

Read these articles at our front page > > >

Discuss humor and faith:

Do faith and humor mix?

Join The Lutheran's managing editor Sonia C. Solomonson (right), to discuss the role humor plays in shaping and expressing our faith.

Consider reading "Two parts faith, one part humor" and "A laughing matter" before joining in.

Join the discussion > > >

This week on our blog:

Amber Leberman blogs about breaking a record.

Kathleen Kastilahn (right) writes about gifts of love.

Julie Sevig shares the faith stories of three confirmands in rural Iowa.

Sonia Solomonson blogs about the controversial nature of peace.

Check out our blog > > >

Introducing The Little Lutheran:

We at The Lutheran think it’s important to nurture the faith of the little ones in our midst. We developed The Little Lutheran for toddlers age 6 and younger to help them learn about God’s love for them and the world in which they live. We want them to know Jesus as friend and savior too.

Meet The Little Lutheran > > >

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February issue


Embracing diversity