"Softly and tenderly.
Jesus is calling.
Calling for you and for me."
Calling to bring forth the kingdom of God on earth.
You may not at first think of Sedalia, Missouri or any place as a picture of the kingdom of God. Not at first sight, perhaps. But the voice of the Spirit moves in some of the most unlikely places.
Calling sinners to dine together over an early morning breakfast.
Calling the weary to feast on God's word.
Calling sinners to listen to one another.
Calling the weary to experience the beauty and darkness of the Lenten season.
Each Lent the Sedalia community gathers at different churches for a Wednesday, early morning breakfast and devotion. We take turns hosting and we hear from different members how God is moving in their lives. We hear from the weary, the sinners, those in need of feeling at home. We hear our stories.
The early, cold mornings meet us with fresh coffee and the smell of bacon and eggs. Or perhaps the favorite of biscuits and gravy. Softly and tenderly we greet the day together - with prayer and communion. We feast. We laugh. We yawn. Jesus calls to us.
Then together we sing.
Softly and tenderly. Jesus is calling.
Clumsy voices and hearty smiles.
Baptists, Methodists, Disciples of Christ, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Catholics.
We sing, "Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling."
Calling for each of us. Calling us sinners to come home. To know God.
The kingdom of God bursts into the community in the faded church basements and in the light of stained glass windows. For a moment we remember not what separates us, but what calls us to form the body of Christ.
Softly and tenderly. Jesus is calling. Calling for you and for me.