Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!” “The Lord bless you!” they answered. Ruth 2, verse 4.
That’s quite a greeting. To me, it sounds a little old fashioned. If you hang out around Christian churches, especially those that are ‘old school,’ on Easter morning it’s customary to say to each other, “He is risen.” To which you might well get the response, “He is risen indeed.” It’s a greeting, like Boaz’s, that is antiquated, dating back to ancient days when the Apostles first, shall we say, Christened it. Old fashioned.
Shame on you, Dave.
You see, the Lord never goes out of fashion. There is no fashion for God: He is the fashion even as He exists outside of it. To be candid, I’m a little envious of Boaz. He’s comfortable with God. We aren’t always that way. I’ll take any kind of greeting that’s given in friendship, but I’d really like it a lot if someone started a conversation by saying, “the Lord be with you.” Maybe I should take it up sometime.
Maybe I should take it up because maybe we could use a little ‘old fashioned’ these days. Old fashioned ethics and work are still required when you need to get a job done. For example, over the weekend, I procrastinated in finishing an overdue task. I have been pulled in other directions for most of 2014. As a result, the task went unfinished until this weekend, when it had to be finished. With the help of my wife, we got it done, and even then she was left with the long task of making and binding copies. But the point is this: when you hit a deadline, it still takes old fashioned work to get it done.
New recipes are prepared with the old fashioned things called “cooking,” “technique,” and “ingredients.” New airplanes are flown using the old fashioned (and naturally unchangeable) idea of ‘lift.’ Despite thinking to the contrary, our economy still functions according to old fashioned economic laws. And worship at most churches still flows according to the old fashioned order of service, traditions, customs, and creeds established over the last two thousand years. Old fashioned works.
Just ask Matthew McConaughey. Last night, when he accepted his Academy Award for Best Actor, the very first thing he did onstage was do the old fashioned thing and thank God for what God had given him. That’s a pretty gutsy thing to do in front of Hollywood elite, who seem to fashion themselves as not needing God. But old fashioned was still best.
So maybe Boaz’s greeting isn’t so old fashioned after all. Maybe in this so-called modern age we could do with some old-fashioned kindness that invites the Lord into every conversation we have.
The Lord be with you today.
Thank You Lord for being with us. Be with us every time we speak today.
Read Ruth 2.
Have you ever greeted someone like Boaz did?
Do you think Biblical traditions are old fashioned?’
Do you think modern traditions are better or worse?