Who are “your people”?

There might be various groups that you might classify as “your people”. Possibly your family. Maybe your “team” at work. Maybe people from your hometown in another country are “your people.”

Sometimes we choose who “our people” are and sometimes they are chosen for us.

The scripture this week comes from the book of Ruth. Ruth and her family might say that “their people” were Moabites- the people who lived in Moab.

Yet, when Ruth’s husband and father-in-law and brother-in-law all die, Ruth’s mother-in-law decides to go back to her home in Israel. Ruth refuses to let her go alone and makes her this promise: “your people will be my people.”

Ruth goes with Naomi to a new land with new people. She commits to not simply going to help her mother-in-law but to completely embrace the people she will find in the new land.

Ruth was open to new people who were taught not to like Moabites due to conflicts found back in the book of Genesis.

Ruth knowingly went with her mother-in-law to a new place where people might hate her and treat her different and her response was, “Your people will be my people.”

Ruth’s openness to journeying with new people was given back to her in the friendship of Boaz. He was a man who did not see Ruth as a Moabite first but saw her as a faithful daughter-in-law and sweet soul.

Later Ruth and Boaz would fall in love and have a child and all would be provided for Naomi as she aged.

Ruth’s openness to all people opened the door for her and her mother-in-law to find a home and people in a new place.

This past week we woke up once again to the story of a mass shooting in a Religious space. The shooter was a white supremacist who disliked the Islamic Faith and Muslim people because they were not “his people.”

Although many of us have our various “tribes” and “people” the story of Ruth reminds us of God’s overarching call to see all people as “God’s people!”

We all find ourselves separated in one way or another- whether it be a festival celebrating a certain country or an event at work that separates teams by skills. Each of us have groups we belong to that differentiate us BUT we remember today that God’s plan and vision for us is what Ruth and Boaz lived out.

Today as you are with “your people” I pray that you would take a moment to simply remember and pray for all people-knowing that each is God’s child.

Today specifically pray for the victims of the Islamic Center massacre in Christ Church.

See you on Sunday…

Pastor Audrey