Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whose Table?

I came across another story today about conservative Roman Catholic priests using their control over communion to beat on Obama supporters. My first reaction to most such stories is pique, followed by "who does he think he is, anyway?" A more reasoned response comes later when I wonder, whose table does he think it is?
Whatever one thinks of the politics and positions of Obama or McCain on abortion, poverty, war, peace, taxes, global warming, women's rights or anything else on the laundry list, no election will bring about the coming of the kingdom. We're not voting for Messiah, after all.
I'm sure most of the folks in my congregation can guess which candidate I support, and I can likewise surmise their leanings as well. But I cannot imagine thinking that I had either the right or the responsibility to deny them what is not mine to give in the first place.
The table belongs to Jesus, who had a pretty well-established track record of breaking bread with all kinds of folks. He knew that relationships are built in the breaking of bread and that truth is revealed there, as well. Only through such relationships and by way of such truths can lives be transformed. Barriers never build relationships.
So, given my politics on this, I suppose I should be happy to see another conservative priest building up barriers. But not really.