My first and deepest welcome came from my parents. I’ve been incredibly blessed to be loved by a mother and father who welcomed me into the world, into their lives, into my own life. This gave me the model for how God welcomes each of us.
For some of us, this kind of deep welcome into Life has comes through our friends, our “family of choice” or our extended families. Naomi finds this deep welcome from a surprising source – her daughter-in-law, Ruth. “Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay” (v. 16). As their difficult journey unfolds, Ruth and Naomi each find a deep welcome, a belonging, in one another.
Perhaps this is what all of us want – to belong. We hunger for our lives to be held by Love that surpasses understanding. Ruth’s choices don’t make sense to others or meet the cultural expectations of her society. Ruth and Naomi, though devalued for who they are (their ethnic, marital, maternal, national and economic status), nevertheless welcome and belong to one another, thereby becoming agents of a new future for God’s people.
People are hungry for welcome and belonging. We can offer welcome and belonging as a powerful witness of faith. Ruth and Naomi show us what it can look like.
Where have you known such deep welcome in your life? Where have you offered it? How has this welcome changed you?