This is a sermon by a vegetarian or nearly vegetarian Presbyterian preacher. I was vegetarian for a little over 20 years, but now eat just a little meat after being diagnosed with Graves Disease and having to go gluten free in order to achieve remission. I became a little scared of being vegetarian by the preachings of the paleo advocates and the nourishing traditions folks (Who do we believe??), and it’s just hard for me to be both gluten free and vegetarian. So I am not posting this to say eating vegetarian is the way to go, but because I love it when people step outside of the box and challenge our assumptions. Not all preachers and religious people are as they are depicted in the media. Tom Are is a 6th generation preacher, and I think he’s kind of interesting, and this sermon was not the usual sermon. He actually inspired me to drop the meat now that I am better at the whole gluten free thing.
One of his best sermons tells the story of how his father sat him down once long ago when he was a very young man and said to him, “Tom, about civil rights, I believe you may be right. And I believe your grandmother may be wrong, but that does not give you the right to be mean to her about it.” That said so much to me and gave me guidance for how to treat people in the divided country that we live in, a country with a terribly hostile political and religious climate. This table that is made so much of in the Christian religious teachings seems to be of great importance, not only to Christians, but to everyone. Jesus was always sitting at the table with the wrong people, and he was always inviting everyone to this table and speaking of this strange kingdom that is possible. I hardly have anyone sit at my table. Perhaps I will work on being more hospitable. Perhaps my word for 2014 will be “hospitality.”