‘I came today to the spring, and said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ and who will say to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw for your camels also’—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.”
‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, “Please let me drink.” She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, “Drink, and I will also water your camels.” So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.” So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.’
Reflection by Janet Derby
Because of the patriarchal leaning of the church through history, we don’t often hear much about the women who were vital to our faith. I think Rebekah is one who gets short-changed. This passage is our introduction to her. What strikes me is that when Abraham’s servant asks for water, she not only obliges this stranger. She goes above and beyond by watering his camels. (So maybe she was just an animal lover. I can identify with that.) She could have shied away from him completely, or simply fulfilled his simple request. Instead, she exemplifies the extravagant welcome that we should all be providing to others.
That may seem difficult in this time of social distancing, but there are many ways we can reach out. It may be as simple as ordering out from an independent restaurant which is struggling to stay open or giving a larger tip than normal to those service providers on the front line. I heard a fabulous story this week about a girl in Michigan who heard about the shortage of masks and decided that she could sew some. Nine-year-old Michaela Munyan has already sewn and donated more than 500 cloth face masks to health-care workers, restaurant employees, family members, and friends. She even used birthday money and some unsolicited donations she received to purchase a new sewing machine so she could make more.
The Washington Post story tells this:
Since late March, Michaela has supplied masks, which she makes in five different sizes, to a local home health agency; one of her favorite pizza restaurants (with a pizza fabric pattern, of course); the pastors at her church; and Matt’s real estate office. Her masks are available for pickup and delivery, and while most of her clientele is in Michigan, she has filled orders from places as far as Arizona and Texas.
God of our foremothers, thank you for the examples of generosity in the past and present. Help us to always extend extravagant welcome to the strangers among us. Amen.