Friday, November 25, 2011


But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you." And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. Ruth 1: 16-19a

I love everything about Ruth.

I admire her faithfulness…

In what must have been a heartbreaking time; all the men in the family had died. Naomi tried to convince her daughter-in-law Ruth to return to her own family, but she refused. Naomi had been right where she was some ten years before when her own husband died. We tend to cling to those who have been through the same life experiences as we have, and so in their shared grief, Ruth clung to Naomi.

I aspire to her humility…

In gathering the leftovers in the wheat field so she could feed her small family. She was honest and hard working, but she couldn't redeem herself. She needed help.

I am amazed by her bravery…

In placing herself at the feet of Boaz she put herself in danger in an attempt to preserve her family. Boaz had been watching her though; watching her care for Naomi. He had in fact given special orders to protect her from the day she set foot on his land. It’s easy to understand why he wanted to marry her and become the redeemer both she and Naomi needed.

I am encouraged by her focus…

In doing what was right, and on the one true God. When Ruth thought about returning to her own mother and the place of her birth, she knew that also meant returning to a people lost in the worship of other gods. She couldn’t go. “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” She was a wise woman.

I am going to try to follow her lead…

In this sometimes chaotic season of Advent I tend to find myself losing focus. Whether it is lack of sleep, lack of funds, or lack of motivation, it all can really be blamed on a lack of focus. Beyond all the 3:00 am sales, the cookie baking, and the piles of wrapping paper we find the only gift that really even matters. It’s the gift whose warranty never expires; the one that never wears out; the only gift that is absolutely free.

Heavenly Father,

Keep me focused this season as I confess with my family our faith in you, and in your Son, our Redeemer. Keep me focused as I worship with my children and read the Christmas story again and again. Help me never tire of it. Keep me focused as I nurture their amazement in the true meaning of the most important gift we have ever received.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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