Here’s your love note from God! As a pastor, it has brought me particular joy when a couple chose this passage as their wedding vows, when they were committing to each other across cultures or when their same gender love meant one person’s family would not embrace their love. Ruth and Naomi capture something so profoundly human and divine. I hope you are moved by their story also.
Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said,
‘Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!’
I love how, to this very day, this passage about my faithful servant Ruth is used in wedding ceremonies all over the world as people commit themselves fully to each other. What people sometimes forget is that part of the reason this beautiful story ended up in the bible is because my children had forgotten my teaching to love the stranger and show compassion for the foreigner. This story of Ruth’s deep commitment to her mother-in-law was intended to remind them (and you) that people different from us can model for us the deepest commitment, love and faith, and to give us strength in hard times. I meant you to know all of the beautiful diversity of my creation. I made you in my image, and I am so big that I needed billions of people to capture the fullness of my divinity. I invite you today to reflect on how you can deepen your connections to the people, the parts of my image you don’t yet know.
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