in this place new light is streaming,
now is the darkness vanished away;
see in this space our fears and our dreamings
brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken,
gather us in, the blind and the lame;
call to us now, and we shall awaken,
we shall arise at the sound of our name.1
of us who didnt know the tune labored through the
singing of this somewhat unfamiliar hymn last week. But
the words, if we thought about them at all, jumped into
our consciousness, for they spoke of this place of peace
and openness where we gather each Sunday morning. And
this week we listened to the commissioning of who we are
as the body of Christ, fed by the spirit as we grow,
literally bursting at our seams.
in...in this space" we hear and wonder
what it means in our lives. Just who are we that we
should be gathered together into one? Who are these
saints and sinners who enter the building purposefully
designed as open, beaconing arms, who enter the sanctuary
with its message of welcoming peace on the lintel and who
become entrenched in our hearts as we begin to trust each
other enough to share our stories?
Why, they are we.
And we are they, of course!
are the young, our lives are a mystery,
we are the old who yearn for your face;
we have been sung through-out all of history,
called to be light to the whole human race.1
We are the
communion of saints in Jesus Christ gathered often by
forces and motives we do not understand but know exist.
Yet sometimes we are gathered by a love we neither feel
nor can comprehend until we give it away unrestricted to
our neighbor, our friend, our child or spouse or even to
a total stranger whose story touches our heart. We are
the communion of saints in this place, gathered together
to celebrate a life we do not own but with which we are
We are the toddler
mashing Cheerios under the pew, bribed by a mother who
wishes to sustain quiet for as long as a whole minute. We
are the golfer who would rather be out on the back nine
and whose mind wanders to that missed putt on the 18th
green yesterday. We are the couple who openly and
tenderly clasps hands even after forty-odd years of
marriage. We are the husband who lovingly shepherds his
wife who is in early stages of Alzheimers, for he has
promises to keep though she is forgetful of them. We are
the newly singled father who barely keeps body and soul
together arriving disheveled on a Sunday, tired with the
effort of being all and doing all for those who depend
solely on him now. We are the teenager whose awakening
body is uncomfortable just living inside his skin. We are
the hurting, the sick, the meek, the frightened, the
unsung heroes and the answers to each others
We are the people
of God gathered in this place of Peace, joining our
voices in prayer and in song. We are the weepers and
those dont cry outwardly but hold our emotions so
close to our beings that we ache with the effort of
hiding ourselves from the view of our friends.
are the bold who make plans and counsel.
We are the meek who retreat from ourselves.
We are the rich who have lots of money.
We are the poor seeking riches in love.
are the sick who hope for our healing.
We are the old ones who give up too soon.
We are the love that holds us together.
We hold the hope of a future thats hewn.
are tired, the anxious, the hungry;
Hungry for love and obsessed with our lives.
We are the ones who point at each other,
then see our fingers point back toward ourselves.
are the leaders, the children, the learning.
We are the teachers of those whom we meet.
We are the children who know of the father.
We are the same ones who rest at his feet.
are the sinners, the ones who know better.
We are the children under Gods wing.
We are not perfect, we are not able,
Raising our fears to the throne of the king.
us in and whisper our names.
Call us together to speak well of yours.
Give us the hearts to love one another.
Watch us together as we grow in you.
us in and hold us forever,
gather us in and make us your own;
gather us in, all peoples together,
fire of love in our flesh and our bone.1
welcome you. Kneel at the table....and receive the
blessing. Love us... and be surrounded with the
compassionate love of Jesus Christ that whispers
throughout this place.
Haugen, Here in This Place, © 1982 GIA Publications,