Jesus said, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand,” (Mark 3:25).

“All Are Welcome” by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS (Based on the hymn “All Are Welcome”)

Jesus shares this “house divided” phrase after the Pharisees accuse Him of being possessed by a demon. What Jesus does possess is the power of God for the healing of a broken and divided world.

On Sunday morning, I was blessed to worship with Pastor Ed Strietelmeier and the people of God at Faith, Swanton. We gathered to hear God’s Word, receive the Sacrament, and Dedicate to God their newly constructed house of worship. It is indeed a beautifully designed and well-planned building. It is all on one level, the floors are made of polished concrete, the Narthex is spacious and inviting, and the maple ceiling in the sanctuary is stunning. The lumber for the trim and ceiling was provided by a parish member, who harvested the wood from his woods.

Laura Strietelmeier served as the pianist, and Nora Strietelmeier was the violinist for the postlude. It was an inspiring and delightful morning.

The opening hymn was, All Are Welcome, and the 1st line of that hymn contains words which have been swimming in my head since Sunday morning. I believe you call that experience an earworm, which is a tune or a song that lingers and plays repeatedly in one’s mind and soul. So, here are the words that have been “earworming” me:

Let us build a house
Where love can dwell
And all can safely live
A place where
Saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive
Built of hopes and dreams and visions
Rock of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions
All are welcome, all are welcome
All are welcome in this place

As we sing in the first line of All Are Welcome, the love of Christ has the power and the promise to end divisions. To heal a house divided, to mend a church divided, and to bring reconciliation to a nation divided.

What kind of a house is Jesus building in you?