There was no love lost between the people of Judah and the people of Moab. First it was about bad hospitality. Then it was about angry rhetoric. And the anger hadn't subsided over the years. It may have even intensified.
But Elimelech and Naomi and Mahlon and Chilion went there anyway. There was a famine in Judah and it seems the possibility of eating outweighed generational anger.
- No history of anger, hate, violence – any kind of bad blood should ever stop people from showing compassion and kindness to others. When we hold onto hate we forget that every person is one whom God calls precious.
- Every time we put up the rules or the policies or the procedures or the entitlements in a way that makes us satisfied that we’re being ‘righteous’ or ‘following the will of the people’ or anything like that . . . while at the same time pushing down, marginalizing, and neglecting others - especially those who are most forgotten and exploited in society. We do wrong. We sin. We go against God’s two rules to love God and to love everyone.
- When we acknowledge someone’s or a group of people’s right to do or to have something, we are not marginalizing people who don’t think it is right to let others into the club. Having more people in the club does not ‘cheapen the currency’ nor marginalize or harm people who were already in the club!
- When we oppose efforts to improve and increase care for people in our society who do not have access to health care or who are in dire straits because of a system that too often seeks ways to deny care rather than give it - even if our reasoning comes from what sounds reasonable – “I work hard and pay my share – why should someone else get what I’m paying for without paying their dues!” We neglect our call as Christians to be a people who heal the sick – not just the sick who in our system haven’t lost their jobs or their coverage.
- If we ever ‘kidnap’ God’s name and do harm to others, marginalize others, neglect others, tell others that they are unacceptable, or in any way treat people with hate or disdain, we do wrong. We sin. We go against God’s two rules to love God and to love everyone.