From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
Blessings to all of you as October comes to a close. Do take a moment to remember those who have gone before you, both in your professional lives as well as your personal. May we continue to learn from one another.
Scripture: Book of Ruth, Chapter 1:16-18
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
I first gave the Book of Ruth some serious thought in a Bible study years ago. There was a woman in the study who was from Amsterdam, and she had followed her husband to the United States. She understood what it was like to dare to follow someone simply because of love.
In this story, there is famine in the land and Naomi, whose husband had died, is planning to return to Bethlehem. She believes that her daughter-in-law Ruth should not follow her. Naomi could not see what was ahead for her and was not feeling optimistic. Ruth, also a widow, was from Moab, and it seemed to be logical that she should return to her homeland. However, Ruth was determined to stay with her mother-in-law, and could not be convinced otherwise. She vows to accompany Naomi always. Love, as we know, is often not logical.
We will continue with the Book of Ruth for a week or two, because it is a rich and beautiful story. Sometimes love will carry us to a new way of being in the world. That is at the heart of the faith journey. We can be faithful to God because God is faithful to us. We will be shown the way. We do not travel alone. Blessed be.
I leave you with the first verse and refrain from the lovely hymn, "Be Not Afraid," written in 1972 by Father Bob Dufford, S.J.
Rev. Sue Ann Yarbrough, Associate Pastor
San Lorenzo Community Church, United Church of Christ