A circle of friends is a blessed thing.
Sweet is the breaking of bread with friends.
For the honour of their presence at our board
We are deeply grateful, Lord.
Thanks be to Thee for friendship shared,
Thanks be to Thee for food prepared.
Bless Thou the cup; bless Thou the bread;
Thy blessing rest upon each head.
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was an American Baptist pastor and theologian who worked in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Hospitality was central to his mission. Faced daily with the struggle of the poor, he became a champion for social reform in health care, education, and issues of child labour.
In one of his pamphlets addressing the strident criticism levelled against him by his denomination for his ‘obsession’ with the poor, he wrote: ‘Because the Kingdom of God has been dropped as the primary and comprehensive aim of Christianity, and personal salvation has been substituted for it, therefore men seek to save their own souls and are selfishly indifferent to the evangelization of the world.’