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12: The Welcome Table

November 21, 2010

Though tolerance is all the supposed rage these days, I find hospitality to be a superior virtue.  Tolerance does not welcome but only puts up with;  tolerance does not engage, but merely allows the other to speak without necessarily listening.  Tolerance keeps its distance, while hospitality invites, enjoys, welcomes the Other’s presence.

The table is an old and long-honored place of and metaphor for hospitality.  Indeed in that old story of Abraham – that patriarch of Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike – we are taught that we may be “entertaining angels unawares.”  Later in the 8th century BC prophets, the Jewish texts tell of a coming eschatological feast, a magnificent gathering to the table with God, in which the world will be put to rights, things put back in place, and God will destroy, said the prophet:
The shroud that is cast over all peoples,
The sheet that is spread over all nations;
God will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces…

Later still in the Christian tradition, the table becomes a means of grace, a tangible place in which the gifts of God are received and experienced.  When Jesus ate among the people, it was not only the religious but also the outcast—the rich, the poor, the shameful, the prideful—all welcomed, and a new way of life—a sort of radical hospitality—was announced among them.

Of course hospitality does not always take place at a table.  It may simply take the shape of welcoming the stranger or alien with kindness;  allowing the have-nots some elbow room among the haves, at the economic lunch-counters;  or taking the time to speak those words of encouragement which the discouraged may so desperately need to hear:  to tell the downtrodden to hold on;  to share resources of prayer or hope or gentleness;  or to impart a smile while in the midst of our own struggles.

It is Tokens such as these we seek tonight, and we welcome you.

1: Cluck Ole Hen

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

2: Opening Monologue

Lee C. Camp

3: Tokens Radio Theme

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

4: Riding Out The Winter

Buddy Greene

5: The Dumb-Dumbs Meet Darrell Waltrip

Tokens Radio Players with Darrell Waltrip

6: Hand It Over

Keb' Mo' with Odessa Settles and Kevin So

7: Interview: Economy of Love

Shane Claiborne with Lee C. Camp

8: On Tom Ryman / Come Thou Fount

Lee C. Camp

9: Tattoo of a Smudge

Cherryholmes

10: The Stranger

Tokens Radio Players

11: Standing

Cherryholmes with the Nashville Choir

12: Thanksgiving 1621

Tokens Radio Players

13: Better Man

Keb' Mo' with the Nashville Choir

14: Tokens on the Road: Taj Mahal

Lee C. Camp

15: Class & Grass: Dinner in D

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys and the Nashville Choir with Greg Lee

16: 2011 Season Tickets Reminder

Tokens Radio Players

17: Lady Be Good

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

18: Tokens Radio Theme (Reprise)

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

19: Betty Swanson...Church Secretary!

Merri Collions and the Tokens Radio Players

20: How Far Will You Go

Cherryholmes

21: A NASCAR Thanksgiving

Tokens Radio Players with Darrell Waltrip

22: Life Is Beautiful

Keb' Mo' with the Nashville Choir

23: Interview: Irresistible Revolution

Shane Claiborne with Lee C. Camp

24: Si Beag Si Mor

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

25: Tokens On The Road: Ryman Auditorium

Lee C. Camp

26: Brother Preacher

Greg Lee

27: Hold On

Odessa Settles and the Nashville Choir

28: Rudy Rutabaga Here

Barry McAlister

29: Thank You, Thanksgiving!

Greg Lee with Buddy Greene, Lee C. Camp, and the Nashville Choir

30: Doxology

The Nashville Choir

31: Closing Monologue

Lee C. Camp

32: Down There By The Train

Lee C. Camp with the Nashville Choir and Odessa Settles

33: I'm Gonna Sit At The Welcome Table

Full Company