E-votional - Who Are We, Really
November 16 - 22, 2003


“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. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the LORD do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.”

Ruth 1:16-18 (NRSV)


   When we read the story of Ruth, I am captured by the desire to be like Ruth, the love, the compassion and the care. Ruth is filled with hope, and it seems there is a profound faith which is manifest in her life and decisions. She has left everything behind, makes a total commitment to the new life an new creation, only to lose everything again, she once again sees and experiences a separation of that which she loves. All of this, yet Ruth is not ready to give up on life. In looking to Naomi, she see hope, hope of what God might still be doing in her and their life. And amazingly, she see this hope while Naomi is embracing hopelessness, deciding it is the beginning of the end. Ruth sees hope, Naomi see despair.

   Hear the Good News, not only does Ruth remind us of hope, but she points to something else, redemption. The story of Ruth is a story of humanity. And while it is for us, it certainly has an interesting twist. While we look to truly understand what could possibly be in Ruth's nature to have her respond to Naomi this way (Love), we also see a bitter and broken person in Naomi. Naomi has lost everything too. Her husband, and Sons are also lost. Sensing and believing her time left is now futile, see sends her daughter-in-law's away. This is the story of humanity, we are Naomi. We are the ones who feel like life has dealt us a tough hand. We are the one's who feel life has been extremely hard on us. And like an unfortunate badge of courage we silently rename ourselves to Mara. We are the ones who choose not to move on. God, oh yes, is Ruth. It is God who says I want to walk with you. He is the one who is ready to go where you will go. It is when we feel we have lost it all that we alone, yet it is God who comes to us and calls to us, "Let Me walk with you." And hey, it gets better, here is the redemptive promise. It is through Your life, a life that is led by Christ, that You participate in the Kingdom of God. Ruth brings redemptions to Naomi immediately, but also to us all as she, through her linage brings King David, which brings to us an young child born in a manger some years later and 2000 years ago.


   Gracious God, thank You for walking with me, even when I am the Bitter One. Thank you for offering me hope when I turn everyone else away. Help me to see the redemptive power and work You do in the world and in my life. Help me also, I pray, to accept Your love and to be changed by it. I thank You for all You have done in my life and all You will continue to do, for I come to You through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior! Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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