Elizabeth Newman writes, "Christian hospitality disappears when the distinction between church and world is collapsed" (43).
In worship, one of the times we struggle to clarify this point is in the announcement, either verbal or in the bulletin, on who can come forward to receive communion. Everybody? Those with faith? The baptized? Those who believe in the real presence? Those who are old enough to understand? Those who are of our same denomination?
I think she is correct that extreme inclusivity and a failure to distinguish the church from the world therefore gives up a "place" in which to be hospitable. On the other hand, most of the limits we set also seem inhospitable, at least to some. What if you are the one closed out?
In our church, we tend to say that baptism is the distinguishing mark. Then I get into debates with pastors who want to make communion completely open even to those not baptized. But the truth is, defining this line, who can eat and who cannot, seems in the Christian tradition to be simultaneously perilous and important.
One way forward, which is hard to define in practical terms but is clear at least as a confession of faith, is that the table is Christ's table, and therefore all are welcome who are invited by Christ. The good Fordean Lutheran in me says, "How will they know they are invited if we don't invite them? Let us say, "In Christ's name, I invite you to this meal." We can worry about faith and baptism and understanding later- they will come. For now simply trust that Christ invites you to this meal.