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16: The Welcome Table

November 20, 2011

In the language in which the New Testament was written, the word for “hospitality” is literally “love of strangers” or “love of foreigners.”  This seems like an oxymoron, for we appear wired not to love strangers precisely because they are strange, arousing a fear of the other precisely in their being different.

The stranger challenges “our ways of thinking and doing things,” asks uncomfortable questions, and threatens our ease. So the powerful protects his borders; the sectarian protects his so-called thinking; and the wealthy protects his holdings, all against the feared stranger.  If this be true, then the appearance of the stranger is not merely an opportunity for us to exercise “charity.”  The appearance of the stranger provides an opportunity for oneself to be freed from one’s own fears, insecurities, and provincial judgments.

The story is told of the 12th century Saint, Francis of Assisi.  A young man from a wealthy family, he was terrified of the lepers who lived in the leper colony not far from his town.  Riding his horse one day he came upon a leper with loathsome sores that filled Francis with revulsion.  Overcoming his horror, he got down from his horse, gave all his money to the man, and kissed him.

This turning point in his life began his journey toward genuine liberty, a route to freedom seldom heralded: to sit at a table, or listen to the other, or share bread and wine.

Perhaps for this reason the Gospel account of Matthew does not say that when we clothe the naked we are being Jesus but that we are encountering God-in-flesh. Thus the host or hostess need as much for the child to come home, as the child needs to come home; it is part of the redemption of humankind that both the one serving the meal and receiving the meal come to know the mercy which we all so desperately need, and for which the human soul deeply longs.

1: Turkey in the Straw

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys with Buck White

2: Tokens Radio Theme

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys with Buck White

3: Opening Monologue

Lee C. Camp

4: Waiting for My Child

Odessa Settles

5: Tokens Radio Players Movie #1

Tokens Radio Players

6: Brand New Day

Buddy Greene

7: Interview: Anita Smith

Anita Smith w/ Lee C. Camp

8: Other Side of the Street

Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua

9: Mercy Now

Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue

10: Tokens Radio Players Movie #2

Tokens Radio Players

11: Selah! Selah!

Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue

13: Nearer My God to Thee

Buddy Greene with Odessa Settles, Lee Camp, and The Nashville Choir

14: Old Joe Clark

Buddy Greene and Ketch Secor

15: Walls of Jericho

The Nashville Choir

16: Union Maid

Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua

18: Class & Grass: Dinner in D

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys with The Nashville Choir

19: Reprise of Union Maid

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

20: Tokens Radio Theme Reprise

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

21: Occupy Room in the Inn

Tokens Radio Players

22: Take 'Em Away; James River Blues; Down to the River of Jordan

Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua

23: Interview: Charlie Strobel

Charlie Strobel with Lee C. Camp

24: We Gather Together

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

25: Brother Preacher

Greg Lee

27: Rebel Jesus

Lee C. Camp with The Nashville Choir

28: TEED Off Party

Lee C. Camp, Greg Lee, and Ketch Secor

29: Thank You Thanksgiving

Lee C. Camp, Greg Lee, and Ketch Secor with The Nashville Choir

30: Table Talk

Tokens Radio Players

31: Oh Mary Don't You Weep

Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue with The Nashville Choir

32: Closing Monologue

Lee C. Camp

33: I Hear Them All

Ketch Secor, Critter Fuqua, and Lee C. Camp

34: Bringing in the Sheaves

Company