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S (Scripture): Two lessons from today’s Moravian Daily Texts!!!
Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.
He was intimate with her, the Lord let her become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi, “May the Lord be blessed, who today hasn’t left you without a redeemer. May his name be proclaimed in Israel. 15 He will restore your life and sustain you in your old age. Your daughter-in-law who loves you has given birth to him. She’s better for you than seven sons.” 16 Naomi took the child and held him to her breast, and she became his guardian. 17 The neighborhood women gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They called his name Obed.[c] He became Jesse’s father and David’s grandfather.
18 These are the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 21 Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, 22 Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.
Luke 23:32 They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus…39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”
O (Observation): What could these two lessons possibly have in common? Not much, you say? Challenge accepted!
In Ruth’s story, Ruth’s faithful witness of hospitality for her mother-in-law (Naomi) is a wonderful sign of grace. Ruth’s husband (Mahlon / Naomi’s son) dies, and Ruth has the right to leave Naomi after Mahlon’s death. But she carries on, caring for Naomi as best she can.
Ruth is left with nothing: no inheritance, no family (by blood), no real hope for employment…nothing…and yet, God’s grace works in her to allow her to be Jesse’s grandmother…David’s great-grandmother…and, in time, an ancestor of the Son of Man.
As Jesus goes to the cross, he is lifted beside two criminals – one who is belligerent and mocks Jesus, the other a new “believer.” These two men – emptied of EVERYTHING this world has to offer…and God’s grace is extended to the one who seeks mercy and God’s favor.
A (Application): Life can be pretty topsy-turvy at times. Mine is: sicknesses, home renovations, busy schedule for kids, lots of work responsibilities, and more. Oh yeah, keep up with the joys of home ownership : )
Things add up…and we can feel pretty empty inside. We wanna be as good as Ruth. Faithful to another. But maybe it’s not so much about Ruth’s faithfulness, but is about God’s faithfulness and mercy.
Same with the cross. Two folks who didn’t deserve grace: both get it – one receives it.
Some days I’m as faithful as Ruth. Some days, I’m as rotten as the criminal mocking Jesus. Some days, I’m just willing to accept God’s grace and know God’s Kingdom more fully.
Hope abounds. In the midst of the dreary times…in the scary times, God is present in the family, friends, and professionals that aid us in our days.
P (Prayer): God, you work wonders. Work a few more today, would ya? Thanks! Amen.