People say Tom is a great preacher. I always wondered whether he could keep it up through four services on a Sunday. I got to try it out yesterday when my daughter and I, after 2 false starts trying to get to 9:15, ended up at the 5:00 service.
In the mean time, being a bit compulsive about missing anything since I have committed to this blog on Monday mornings, I tuned into the podcast from the 11:00 service. I only had to listen long enough to hear Bill Abel read the scripture. It could have been God Himself reading those words. It is amazing to me how you can hear in someone’s words the close connection he has with the One who inspired them. Bill celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday and I know him to be a man of great faith.
So, I was a bit surprised when the scripture was read at the 5:00 service by a disembodied voice. Yep. Heard it. Didn’t see anyone. It felt right though when the conclusion of the passage was rendered by actors “on stage.” Perfect. Just as Bill had been perfect at 11:00.
Tom at 5? It seemed to me he took some liberties with the Ruth, Naomi and Boaz story. Even mixed up the characters once. It is so good to see Tom be human :). But as usual he left me with a nugget. Ruth was just reminding her mother in law of the commitment she had already made to her when she married her son. We are family now; we’re in this for the long run. (For the record, I married the son of a Jewish woman.)
the words? …
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” Ruth 1:17
A new friend recently told me that these were the words she and her fiance had chosen for their wedding. Yes, somehow they have more power than ‘in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, …til death do us part.’ But they seem to have the same author.
The funny thing is, I heard these words three times yesterday – read, spoken and preached – and from my friend last week. They were powerful every time, each in a different way.
Maybe it’s not just the words. I’m thinking a lot today about what happens when we give God our words.