Devotion: Ruth 2:4-7Ruth has gone off to glean for Naomi. She took a personal risk to care for the woman she declared to be her family. Most of us will take a risk for our families, even sacrifice for our families when called upon to do so. Yet Ruth showed her amazing love that she did so for Naomi. Ruth embodies what Jesus will later commend-that the people of God are a new a family and that even if we should have to leave our family to follow Jesus of origins behind, we gain far more than we lose in doing so (see Matthew 19:28-30). Ruth exemplifies what Jesus will later proclaim.
Even so, Ruth is not the only protagonist in this little book. This week in our reading Boaz enters stage right:
"And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, 'The LORD be with you!' And they answered, 'The LORD bless you.' Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, 'Whose young woman is this?' And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, 'She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, "Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers." So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.' " -Ruth 2:4-7 ESVRuth has specifically targeted Boaz's field based on his reputation. When Boaz finally emerges on the scene, we are struck at once by his piety. Boaz's greeting is traditional, yet faithful, invoking the name of his God (YHWH) and his reapers respond in a faithful way. As the landowner, Boaz would have taken almost a paternal role in the life of his workers. Their faithful, pious response to Boaz shows that his own piety has rubbed off on them. Think of the Apostle Paul stating, "Be imitators of me as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV). Boaz is a man of God to be imitated.
There is one more thing about Boaz that we need to note as he is introduced. Boaz notices. Being observant of the environment and other people is a commendable habit. As Boaz approaches his fields he immediately notices that a woman he does not know is out gleaning in the field. Now Boaz, as a pious Israelite, would have considered allowing gleaning his sacred duty to the poor (see Leviticus 19:9-10). Yet, Boaz goes a step further and notices Ruth. It is one thing to help the faceless poor, and quite another to get to know the poor as people as we offer aid. This short passage certainly commends the latter.
The reapers also report one more thing-that Ruth is working tirelessly. When we have a job to do, especially if that job is coming to the aid of another, we need to put everything we have into the job. Ruth took one short rest (because rest is not a bad thing), but otherwise poured herself into the task before her. We can be like Ruth and work tirelessly to help others that, like Boaz, we notice.
News for You:
- CPC is seeking to fill our church secretary position. A successful candidate will be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel with experience in database programs. The position will be 25 hours per week (9-12, 1-3) Monday-Friday. Applications can be obtained at the church office. Call the church office for more information.
- Youth Group Meals are needed. Our middle and high school youth group meets at Kurt and Jennifer Fudge's house at 6 p.m. The youth group shares a family style meal, a devotion and activities. Be part of the joy by getting involved.
- CPC's annual Trunk-or-Treat will be October 31 from 5-7 p.m. There are many ways to get involved:
- Bring candy and your decorated vehicle to the church parking lot by 4:30 p.m. and provide some joy and community
- Donate bags of candy to the church (we had over 400 kids last year, so we went through a LOT of candy)
- Volunteer to help cook hot dogs or donate funds to help purchase hot dogs/buns.
- Provide portable lighting to help light up the parking lot
- Operation Christmas Child boxes are available starting next week at CPC. The deadline to submit boxes will be Sunday, 11/12.