Advent 2018 – Day Nine – What the world is waiting for
“You’ll never know just what you want to do
Or where you want to go I think it’s time
That you found what the world is waiting for
I think it’s time”
As we read the story of Ruth we see another chapter in the long lineage which leads to the coming of Jesus. Ruth is a vivid demonstration of the need for relationships and of the way God has a place for each of us in the story of Salvation.
The story of Ruth speaks to me of our impatience in our christian lives, wanting immediate results from our prayers and visible quick responses to our outreach activities.
Our passage today shows us that some things take a long time but there are long term implications of our actions which we may never see or know about.
Ruth’s story also demostrates that the power of love is always present in God’s unfolding plan. She is another example of persistent love which lead to the coming of Jesus.
That revealing love continues in us as we speak the Good News to the world today.
Thoughts from the Advent Creative Workshops
In November I ran a few workshops on creative writing for Advent and some of the results will appear in the next few days reflections.
THOUGHTS ON THE STORY OF RUTH – Diana Holt
What terrible sadness for Naomi, losing her husband, and then both of her sons. Her sons would have been quite young, as they had only been married for around ten years. Probably in those days, the women of a family would have been close – they would have lived and worked together, so Naomi would have been grateful for the presence of her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth. But still Naomi was sad, and wanted to return to her homeland of Bethlehem, rather than stay in Moab. The two girls were Moabites, and Orpah, understandably, chose to remain in Moab. But for Ruth, also a Moabite, home was not a place , it was people – in this case, her mother-in-law, whom she loved, and with whom she had shared the grief of losing their menfolk.
Where is home to us? Is it a place? Or a church? Or the people we love, and who love us?
But it was a big decision for Ruth, to go with Naomi – she had probably never been to Bethlehem before. Probably only heard of it as the homeland of her parents. Looking back, we can see that her decision was part of God’s master plan. And her decision was motivated by love – love for Naomi.
How often does God use the power of love, in his unfolding plan?
Ruth was not proud – she sought work, menial work in the fields, and through this she met Boaz. Boaz was a good man – he respected Ruth, and we read that he checked with another relative that he was happy to relinquish his claim to the field, and to Ruth. He married Ruth, and generations down the line, the family tree of Boaz and Ruth stretched to Jesse, and thence to Jesus, born in Bethlehem.
How often do we consider the implications, short and long-term, of what we do or say? Do we listen to God to guide us? Are we motivated, not by greed or pride, but by love? We all have our part to play – let us stand ready to be guided to say and do what the Lord directs, as we work with others to build God’s kingdom here on earth.
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.
For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn – Singing the Faith – I will offer up my life
“… Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him”.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Loving God we pray that we may be persistent and patient in following your path.
Loving God we see in Ruth an example of tenacious love. May the love she showed to Naomi be reflected in the love we show to others around us. Help us find that path of love which draws us closer to you.
We pray that we too may respond to your call to demonstrate your love to the world around us. Help us, in our fellowship together, to find powerful relationships which will not only build our own faith but be a beacon shining in the community around us.
We pray that our church life together may form another link in the path that stretches back through the generations, uniting us with Jesus as our Messiah come to us as a baby who we too hold close to us and love with all our hearts.
Think back in your christian life to those decision points where you decied to follow Jesus or were not deflected from your path by difficult circumstances or decisions. Give thanks for all of those people who have stood by and held you close during those times.
Lord we thank you for these touching points in our lives. Amen.