Ruth and Naomi

Readings: Psalm 146:5-10; Ruth 1:6-18; 2 Peter 3:1-10

…But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.”…but Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God…” [Ruth 1:8-9, 16, NRSV]

 

For me, the book of Ruth is as fresh as a morning sunrise. Each time I meditate on this book, it changes and deepens my faith.

Naomi lost her husband and sons and may have felt God dealt severely with her, experiencing deep pain and disconnect from God. Naomi thought she had just bid farewell to her daughters-in-law and that she would enter Bethlehem alone.  She was still dealing with her loss and didn’t think she could offer anything of worth to her sons’ widows.  Ruth, however, clung to Naomi and wanted to stay with her. She pleaded with Naomi not to entreat her to leave.  Ruth’s heart had changed over the year’s she spent with Naomi’s family and with God’s people.

I experienced this deep pain and disconnect during the time of my divorce. I didn’t feel God’s favor at the time.  My life was crumbling to the ground and I was discouraged and becoming very self-centered.  At the time I didn’t feel I had anything of worth to offer my children, church or friends. I didn’t know what I needed was loving friends and family.

By faith I chose to leave a home and a church family and attend a new church, forming new friendships and support, a family of new people I didn’t know before.  As Ruth I walked by faith into the unknown because like Ruth, I became even more fully convinced that God was able to embrace my broken heart and meet my needs and the needs of my family.

Plymouth Sunrise

Photo and meditation offered by Donna Eby, Sunday school teacher and photographer, walking home to Bethlehem.

[Two Rowhouses, 2018-2019, by Colin Fredrickson]

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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