In This Very Room
Ron Harris wrote his well-known hymn in a hotel room at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, during a long business trip. After talking to his wife and children in Los Angeles on the phone, he found himself filled with deep longing to be with his family, and feeling exceptionally lonely. Out of the dark, and out of nowhere, he reports, the words “in this very room” came to him, along with the ideas. His loneliness was gone and he felt “powerful and healed.”
For the disciples, it’s backwards. They don’t yet know what is ahead – the fear, the loneliness, the guilt of abandoning their Lord, their inability to stay awake in Gethsemane is all ahead, and for a short moment all of the twelve sit together at table fellowship, which has been a regular part of Jesus’ ministry. They must feel warm and collegial, after three long years, together with those closest to them, those they have been doing ministry with, celebrating one of their holy times, a festival of freedom, the Passover.
But today is different. Today God’s love pours out even more as Jesus takes bread and the cup, blesses it, breaks it, shares it with those who will deny him, those who will fall asleep on him, those who will abandon him, even the one who will betray him. In this room is all the Love in the world. In this world, in the calm before the storm, is the Reign of God.
In this very room there’s quite enough love for all the world,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for all the world,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power
to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.
(“In This Very Room,” Words and music by Ron and Carol Harris, 1979, as printed in Chalice Hymnal,©1995 Chalice Press #295)
Rev. Julie Holm pastors the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith in Rebersburg and Madisonburg, PA: St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, St. Peter’s Lutheran (ELCA) and Christ United Church of Christ. She is one of the editors of this volume.
©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.