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July 10

Ruth 1, 15-18

Something to read

So she said, `See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.' But Ruth said, `Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die - there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!' When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. 
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

If you were to move to another country to live, is it important to cling to your nationality and culture, or to become totally assimilated into your new home land? It is obvious that Naomi and her family kept their Hebrew identity and faith while in the land of Moab, as Ruth knew about their God (v16).

I wonder how visible our own faith is within our community and work place. In a court of law, would there be enough evidence to convict us of being a CHRISTian? Did not Jesus say, we are in the world but not part of it (John 17:15-16), and warn us against losing our saltiness (Matthew 5:13)? It is so easy to become blurred with the world about us.

Ruth, on the other hand, as she begins to move towards Bethlehem, intends a total integration into Naomi’s people and faith; as she says, ‘your people will be my people, your God shall be my God’.

Why does she respond like this? Had she decided this is the best way to start a new life in a new nation, or was it because Naomi’s faith spoke to her? Whatever the answer is, it is Total Change. The old way of life and beliefs will be gone, a new life is about to begin.

Do you see any similarities between Ruth’s response (v16-17) to that of a person responding to Christ’s call ‘Follow me’? 

Something to do

Using Ruth’s response to Naomi as a basis, write new vows for a service of Confirmation or Baptism.

Something to pray

Lord often my promises are half hearted,
I set out with good intentions
Then I lose focus and enthusiasm,
Lord in your mercy forgive me

Teach me to live as shown by Jesus,
Focused and faithful,

Today's contributor is the Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister.


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