Crossing the T

Life at the intersection of Church and Trans with Rev. Allyson Robinson

“Carried to the Table”

A friend asked me recently for my thoughts on Leeland‘s song “Carried to the Table.”  (Click for lyrics, or listen by clicking on the video below.)

This is how I responded to her:

Over the last several years the communion liturgy has really increased in significance to me, to the point that today I cannot receive communion without weeping.  I’m worshiping now in a church where each individual leaves his or her seat and approaches the altar to receive (unlike my Baptist tradition, where the norm is to have it delivered to you in your seat), and where we celebrate communion at every worship service (the norm in my tradition being monthly or quarterly).  I’ve found there is something so powerful in walking toward that sacred place each Sunday as a whole person, hiding nothing, unafraid and unashamed, knowing that I will truly be received “just as I am.”  Thinking about it as I write makes me realize that I imagine God there, smiling at me, ushering me forward and into a supernatural intimacy with him that is beyond my words to describe.  The experience nourishes something important in me, such that I can’t imagine going back to a less regular observance of the sacrament.

My understanding of what separates me (or what once separated me) from God has also changed in profound ways.  Before I came to terms with my trans-ness, I imagined that I could draw significantly closer to him if I would just overcome my desire to be a woman.  Now, having realized that my femininity never was a barrier between us, I’ve also learned that there was never really any action I could have undertaken that would have drawn me closer to him in any significant way.  Only God is able to make up the distance between God and humanity, and he has made it up, “once for all,” in Christ. 

All this has made me feel closer to God than I ever thought possible.  In fact, it has completely altered my paradigm of proximity to the divine.  Finally I think I understand–and really believe–what Paul meant when he said, “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

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4 Comments»

  Sarah wrote @

Amen!

  Liz/Joyce’s sister wrote @

Allyson, Thank you for your kind words about me. About Carried To The Table, I feel that this song tells us that no matter where we are or where weve been, through the love and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no one will be forsaken. All we have to do is ask Jesus for forgiveness and to live in our hearts, then we are all able to join The Lord at his table regardless of our sins. In Christ’s eyes sin is sin and when we accept Him in our hearts and minds we are made whole and become new creations in Christ. Liz

  Busby wrote @

Allyson I just wanted to toss you one of my favorite communion songs, I guess mainly in the spirit of this post. The song is a bit simple, but nonetheless I constantly find solace in these lyrics, and hope you do as well.

“Peace” by Rich Mullins

Though we’re strangers, still I love you
I love you more than your mask
And you know you have to trust this to be true
And I know that’s much to ask
But lay down your fears, come and join this feast
He has called us here, you and me

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls
This drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And though I love you, still we’re strangers
Prisoners in these lonely hearts
And though our blindness separates us
Still His light shines in the dark

And His outstretched arms are still strong enough to reach
Behind these prison bars to set us free

So may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the drought has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In this Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

And may peace rain down from Heaven
Like little pieces of the sky
Like those little keepers of the promise
Falling on these souls the draught has dried
In His Blood and in His Body
In the Bread and in this Wine
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you
Peace to you
Peace of Christ to you

  Allyson wrote @

Ryan…what a beautiful song. RM had a singular gift for getting to the heart of the matter, didn’t he? So many of his songs bring me to tears. Thank you for reminding me of this one.

Liz, thanks for stopping by! I agree…”Carried” says something very deeply true about the “radical welcome” we receive in/through Christ, something we always benefit from hearing more of. Glad to hear from you!


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