When I found on YouTube this a cappella rendition of JUST AS I AM and saw that it was sung by a Mennonite choir, I knew this was today’s post. I have journeyed with very fine Mennonite men and women on this trek through life. They are non-judgmental, they are humbly devoted, they are peacemakers in a violent world.
Decades ago I answered the altar call at a Youth for Christ rally. Penitently, I walked up to the railing, knelt, bowed my head, cried. It was a transformative night. But then the ‘humbly born again’ me tried to assume the posture and image of what people told me a Christian, especially a born again Christian, should be. Over the following years I rebelled against and rejected anything religious.
That table of invitation, the seat reserved for me did not move. It is I who have changed and moved. Today, what others profess does not matter. What others think about me does not matter. What others assume as ‘Christian-like’ behavior does not matter. It was my seat waiting and I claimed it. Verse 3 of the hymn by Charlotte Elliot says it all:
“Just as I am! tho’ tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, with fears within, and foes without, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”
The truth of the Jesus story says to me that there are no conditions on taking a seat because the table is open to anyone – black or white, man or woman, gay or straight, drunk or sober, earthling or Martian – the truth has not changed. This has always been a universal invitation which only man’s theological interpretation has limited.
“If, therefore, the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” JOHN 8:36
Enjoy the freedom. The centerpiece of the table is unrelenting love for your Lord and, then, the entirety of Creation. We can add a plethora of ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’, but why should we want to? NAMASTE 🙏