Reread: Ruth 1: 1-10
Wow! I hope you've enjoyed this first week of study in the book of Ruth. We don't have very many options (only 2) to read a book of the Bible dedicated to telling God's story through the life of a woman. First, we've gotten to study one of the influences that invested in Ruth..... her mother in law, Naomi.
This week, we've seen Naomi, a wife and a mother, experience trauma in both roles. Did you pause long enough during your study to really take that in? We are 10 verses in, and Naomi has lost 3 lives that are very important to her. At the start of our study, we are staring at the reality that often God will allow devastating circumstances to be part of the stories of His own children. We've also seen that He provides comfort, support, and compassion in tangible ways when His children hurt.
Since I get to recap the week, I have felt so much freedom to let my mind contemplate a variety of different things as I've studied. Many thoughts have come and gone, but I have remained interested in this idea that Naomi (a believer in the One, true God) was influenced by the lives of her two daughters in law that were very much pagan.
As we wrap up week 1, though, please don't lose sight of the fact that these pagan daughters actually exhibited loving behavior towards their mother in law. Naomi released them back to their own families. Yet, they insisted on staying. They want to honor the commitment they've made to their husbands.
Loving in relationship even when it's not easy is something we are called to do because it will be a picture of the Gospel in our world. In a society where people are constantly looking for ways to back out of a relationship commitment, let us be a people that are devoted to honoring those in our families, our communities, and in our churches.
If you did Audacious with us this summer, you experienced Carl Lentz as we ended. I have another of his sermons to share with you today. This is a message he preached at Louie Giglio's church, Passion City. I believe it's a beautiful demonstration of how we are called to live in Christ-like community. I pray you'll spend some time with it over the weekend. :)