Reflections: July 16, 2020
By Kyle Mietzner
Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The book of Ruth sits in between Judges and 1 Samuel as a wonderful little story about life during the time of the judges. Before Israel had a king, they had judges, people who were sent by the Lord every so often to restore them to faithfulness. The book of Judges has a poetic refrain: "Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." The Lord had taken the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. Yet they continually turned away from the Lord and towards the idols of the people in the surrounding countries.
Who belongs to the Lord? Does it matter where you were born or who your parents are? What if you were born to a family who knows nothing of Jesus? The book of Ruth gives us these answers. The Lord brings His people to His truth, regardless of who they are. The people of Israel had a sort of dangerous security because of their bloodline. They thought that they were safe because they were children of Abraham! Children of Abraham who worship idols no longer follow the God of Abraham who led them out of slavery.
Ruth, however, was from Moab. She was born an enemy of God, as we all are. Yet, the Lord brought her to Himself through a rather unpredictable path of famine, death, and marriage. She was adopted into God's family, the Church. So it goes for all of us! The Lord calls to all people, regardless of their lineage or nationality. Baptized into Christ, we who were foreigners and aliens are brought in and given a new home with the Lord's people in the Church.
Ruth's story is given to us at the perfect place in the Bible. The end of Judges is bleak, and one might think that there is no hope for anyone. Yet Ruth shows us that the Lord gathers His Church, from unexpected places with unexpected people! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, Your children come from the four corners of the earth, and from every nation under heaven. As you have adopted us into Your family, we pray that You would continue to draw us together from all peoples. We give thanks for Your daughter, Ruth, in whom Your mercy and love has been shown; in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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