While one of our daughters was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, she was
often accosted for not being married. After some initial embarrassment and fumbling at
how to respond in her adopted culture, she finally came up with a reasonably satisfying
answer. She was not married, she told her neighbors, because her father had set too high a
bride price and no one was able to pay it!
In one of our lectionary readings today a high bride price is at the heart of the story.
Whoever wished to gain the property of Elimelech and restore it to his widow, Naomi,
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.