All In (03-03-19 Sermon)

I remember playing “hide-a-go-seek” as a little kid.  As the sun went down, the person who was “it” would call out , “Oh-lee, oh-lee, in come free!” It varies all across the country:  “Olly, olly, all in free, or oxen free, or outs in free” : meaning all those on the outside can come in now, without penalty. Some linguists say it may have come from a mix of French and German across the sea to Appalachia, “Allez, allez, auch sind frei” or “kommen frei.”  However you say it, the signal is clear: it’s safe to come out now. It’s safe to come in.  Everybody, come on home.  Instead of a church bell, we could shout that every Sunday from our roof, like the call to prayer from a minaret.  I’m thinking today of beloved friends in the United Methodist Church, wishing they could shout like that this morning: everybody, come on home.

-Rev. Victoria Safford, “All In”
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