When sin and darkness had corrupted the world, God called Noah and his family to be a bridge from one era to the next for humanity. The ark was a vessel of redemption, that would protect them from the storm, and eventually transport them to dry land after the floodwaters receded.
God called Jacob to seek reconciliation with his estranged brother Esau. The night before he crossed the Jabbok to meet Esau, Jacob has an encounter with God during which he drops the guise of the Trickster, and “crosses over” to embrace his true identity as Israel, who wrestles with God.
God called Moses to literally part of the waters of the Red Sea so that God’s people could “cross” on dry ground from slavery in Egypt to freedom. Moses went on to lead God’s People on a 40-year journey through the wilderness to the cusp of the Promised Land.
God called Ruth to leave her country to accompany grieving mother-in-law on a journey to her homeland. Ruth risked much in leaving Moab, but it also opened a unique opportunity for her, as she met and married Boaz, and became great-grandmother to Israel’s greatest king.
Acts 16:11-15, 40
Lydia was a Gentile “God-worshipper” who responded to Paul's preaching by worshipping Jesus. She (and her family) became the first European converts to Christianity, thereby building a bridge between continents and cultures. Her hospitality toward Paul's mission team in Philippi built a bridge that enabled growth of the church in that region.
2 Samuel 12:24
God calls Boaz, a Jew, to step across cultural divides and take Ruth, a Moabite woman, as his wife—her kinsman redeemer. In so doing he builds a bridge over “troubled waters” anchoring the promise of the future—King David and ultimately Jesus—to the Jewish heritage of the past.
Mary Magdalene is not the woman many have assumed her to be. She was a key supporter of Jesus’ ministry—and among the very first to proclaim: “Christ is risen”! Her remarkable story encourages us to know our own story as children of God.
God calls Barnabas to be a bridge between the Hebrews and Hellenists in Jerusalem, and between Gentiles and Jews in Antioch—where Christianity was “born”. He is also a bridge to a new generation of leaders as he becomes “sponsor” and mentor to the Apostle Paul, and eventually allows Paul to “cross over” and take the lead.
Like all good stories. these Biblical Stories are meant to help us reflect upon our own stories. If we approach the Word with an open heart, we can find God— and"find ourselves"—in the pages of Scripture.