Hymn: "A Place at the Table"

As we prepare to celebrate World Communion Sunday, October 6, the hymn with these words in the title may come to mind if we have been introduced to it: No. 769 in our Glory to God hymnal. The full title of the hymn, "For Everyone Born, A Place at the Table," makes it even more significant for World Communion Sunday.

If we do sing this hymn on World Communion Sunday, I am sure that we will see as we sing it what Carl Daw highlights in Glory to God: A Companion when he says that beyond affirming that everyone born deserves a place at the Lord's table, "it is far from the only dimension. There is also concern here with tables of justice, tables of commerce, tables of opportunity, and tables of reconciliation. The reason all these tables are important becomes obvious in the refrain: these are not just issues of human concern; these are matters that God cares about. When we place our efforts under the sovereignty and compassion of God, we share in the restorative work for which we were created."

The hymn is also an appropriate one for World Communion Sunday since it was written by Shirley Erena Murray from New Zealand. Many of us were introduced to her hymns in the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal where five were included. In Glory to God we find nine other of her hymns besides this one.

-Huw Christopher