“My dear God, I’m so totally ashamed, I can’t bear to face you. O my God—our iniquities are piled up so high that we can’t see out; our guilt touches the skies.” Ezra 9:6 (The Message Bible)
Ezra was ashamed of the people of Israel. They had been forbidden to mingle with the neighboring people because of their “vulgar obscenities.” Some of their daughters married neighbors and mixed the “holy seed.” Ezra, at his wit’s end, pulled out hair from his head and beard and ripped off his clothes before falling to his knees and prayed for a solution.
There must be fathers who felt like Ezra as they walked their daughters down the aisle to marry someone from outside their race, religion, or in some cases a same sex marriage. When I was a kid, if I married someone other than another Norwegian, it was considered a “mixed marriage.” The thought of marrying a non-protestant would have been a stretch. I went one-step further and married someone with no church background, who now shares my religion and expresses his faith.
I wonder if God was amused or annoyed at how we picked our partners. I doubt if the subject of religion comes up on the first few dates of any couple.
Dear Lord, help us see the opportunities to spread our faith through people who have not had the opportunity to know you. Amen.