Friday, November 06, 2015

Welcoming wings

"Having checked all were present and correct,
 the mother swan gently tucked back her wings 
to stop them falling off before gliding back to her nest" 
From "All Aboard"

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ruth 2:1-23

TO CHEW ON: "'The Lord repay your work and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel under whose wings you have come for refuge.'" Ruth 2:12

Ruth was in Bethlehem, the home of her mother-in-law, where she was an outsider. However, that didn't stop her from taking the initiative in getting food on their table. Perhaps Naomi told her about the Israeli custom of gleaning, where the farmer purposely left some of his crop for the poor to pick up after his harvesters were done. For she seemed to know about it and offered to glean food for them.

Her first morning out she 'happened' to choose the field of Boaz to glean in. He noticed her, perhaps not surprisingly, for it seems her arrival with Naomi had been all the buzz around town.

 If Ruth had any fears about the reaction of this wealthy farmer, she needn't have. For his attentions were all good. How comforting his words must have sounded: "The Lord repay your work and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."

In many places God expresses His tender-heartedness for the alien, foreigner, orphan and widow. Do we have a similarly welcoming attitude toward immigrants, outsiders, newcomers with strange customs, language, clothes, and food? The recent debate in Canada over whether Muslim women immigrants to Canada should be allowed to wear the face-covering niqab during citizenship swearing in has brought feelings and discussion about foreigners into the open. I know I need to constantly check my own heart on this, asking, am I as welcoming as Boaz was?

God's wings are big enough for us all. He invites us all to come to Him for comfort, rest, protection, safety, healing and renewal:

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings" - Psalm 36:7
(See also Psalm 91:1-6 and Malachi 4:2)

Dear God, thank You for Your welcome to all people. Help me to reflect Your welcoming attitude toward others, especially newcomers, immigrants and foreigners. Amen.

MORE: We are all aliens
"The divide could not have been larger between sinful human beings and the infinitely holy Son of God. But Christ did not despise us. He came to us. He loved us. He died in our place to give us life. And he did all this when we were more alien to him than anyone has ever been alien to us. When we feel or think or act with disdain or disrespect or avoidance or exclusion or malice toward a person simply because he or she is of another race or another ethnic group, we are, in effect, saying that Jesus acted in a foolish way toward us. You don’t want to say that."   By John Piper- read all of "Probability, Prejudice and Christ"   ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website:  
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Drive-Thru

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