“Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Among the passages in the lectionary as this liturgical year draws to a close is the story of Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. It is a classic backstory about David’s family, for Ruth gives birth to Obed, who then has Jesse, David’s father. It is a story about family – but family that does not fit the traditional mold.
At the beginning of the story, Naomi is a widow who has two sons and two daughters-in-law. When her sons die suddenly, she and the young women are left with nothing. Wanting to protect them, she attempts to send the girls home to their families so that they might find new husbands. One daughter-in-law goes, but the other one, Ruth, who is a different religion and of a different people than Naomi refuses and speaks this famous line: where you go, I will go… your people shall be my people, and your God my God. By staying with one another, these two women find a path forward – together – one that will bring wholeness and great flourishing to their lives.
If you think about it, the church is just such a family. It is a hot mess made up of a wondrous variety of people from every background – it does not fit any traditional family mold. And yet, God has brought us together to find a way forward that will bring wholeness and great flourishing for all involved.
As we look towards our Stewardship Dedication Service this Sunday, let us remember that whatever joys and whatever changes we may face, God will provide the wisdom and strength we need when we walk the path together. At this time and place, God has called us to be the body of Christ at Highland Presbyterian. Though we do not know precisely where the path will lead, and though the makeup of the body may change, God still has a road for us to walk and a future for us to seek as a family.
Let us come with our gifts of time, talent, and treasure to rededicate our lives to God’s ministry and to seek God’s path for Highland together.