Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011

We’re coming up to Christmas and all the festivities we expect. Perhaps there are new things in your life and this year will be different. Maybe you are anticipating traditional events.

For many it is a time to reflect on family. Through Sundays in November we read the stories of Ruth from the Old Testament. She is famous for leaving her homeland, saying to her mother-in-law:

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.

It is a marvelous expression of commitment. Ruth was an outsider, a woman from a hostile country, and had nothing to offer but herself. 

Did you know that Ruth was an ancestor of Jesus? So it is that Jesus came from a family that had a tradition of welcoming the outsider.

Do you suppose that means we as Christians inherit that tradition of welcoming the outsider? Indeed. And truly, the best we can offer to each other is ourselves: in hope, peace, joy and love. Our true selves are reflections of our deepest gift, the gift God makes in Jesus. 

Blessings on you, as you look forward to the festivities of Christmas, and welcome the outsiders around you with the gift of your truest self.

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

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