Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Welcome Table

I heard a different version of this song on NPR this morning while driving home from church and I just knew I had to share it with you.

And, oh my. These people are GOOD!

You might like to read something about the Old Town School of Folk Music right here.

UPDATE: I want to send you over to a blog called Casaubon's Book by Sharon Astyk. The posting I have in mind is a reflection on the song I've shared with you today. Here's a really beautiful excerpt:

We’ve lost the habit of the welcome table. I once taught a Hebrew School class of fifth graders about Passover, and I asked them how many of them, when the Haggadah commands them to cast open their doors and call out “let all who are hungry come and eat” actually do so? What, I asked them, would they do if someone actually tried to come in and sit down? Overwhelmingly, these children in a comfortable suburb told me that they would never really open their doors, and that if a stranger tried to enter and eat, the would be afraid. And there are perhaps some legitimate reasons for fear - but some even greater reasons for overcoming it. We are people who have learned to fear the idea of casting open our doors to others.

There are things we can only understand about one another by sitting together for a meal. Seated together, we learn about each other’s food culture - in fact, we create a food culture. Until we eat together, there are intimacies we cannot share. Eating together is a powerful way of tying our lives together. Building community depends upon it - and because so many of us are too busy, or too afraid or intimidated or simply not in the habit, we lose community and intimacy in precisely the measure that we do not share food. It is a starting point for most human connections.

I certainly didn't know that "casting open the doors to the hungry" was part of the Passover ritual. That certainly sheds new light on the injunction of Jesus to "go out to the highways and byways and compel them to come in" when you give a party!

There's a lot to think about here.

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