(Click on heading to expand) This week’s blog post is written by Rev. Jonathan Bratt, HUMC Music Director ….
Blog Post for Ruth sermon in “The Story” series for HUMC – March 9-15, 2020
Life is always changing. Just when you get some experience in one area and think you have a clue on how to handle it, life changes. My wife, Janet, and I are in a new place in our lives with two parents still living (late eighties and early nineties), three grown children, two of which are married with children, and one who is still figuring out what he wants out of life in the long term. We often find ourselves torn between many conflicting desires and expectations to be present with our parents, present with our children, and present with our grandchildren. Of course, being “present with them” still means in our “spare time,” since we both work and have our own set of responsibilities and people beyond family that we love and care about.
We often find ourselves asking a question like, “What does it mean to be faithful to all of our relationships.” It may be easy to generalize an answer because Jesus clearly calls us to “love one another,” and this certainly includes the family that he has blessed us with. Beyond the generality however, what does it mean to “love” in each and everyone of the relationships we have in life.
I have always loved the Story of Ruth, perhaps one of the greatest reasons is that it addresses this very question of our lives regardless of our age or specific situation. The Book of Ruth is set in the historical context of the Book of Judges that Pastor Jennifer illuminated for us last week. This was a time, as the text says over and over, “when there was no king and people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” It was in such an individualist and selfish time that the characters of Ruth’s story emerge as people who put others first. Ruth, Boaz, and even Naomi give us hope that in a world of everyone doing their own thing, it is possible to live a different kind of life. The Book of Ruth speaks of just ordinary people, doing ordinary things showing us that faithfulness and love are displayed in the mundane and little things of everyday life. Ruth points us to a different way of life; faithfulness to our relationship with God and all the people around us. It is in the context of people living these faithful lives, that we see in the big picture, that God is faithful to all of His promises as he works in and through the lives of those who love and trust him. Let’s look for ways to live with Ruth and Boaz faithfulness in all of our relationships as we reflect on this great story in God’s Word.