Advent 12/9/22 Sacred People

Love and Respect
Friday, December 9

Ruth 4:13-17 (NRSV)
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.


 I have always loved Ruth’s story—and like any good story, it ends with a wedding. After the loss of her first husband, Ruth remains faithful: though she was freed from both her legal and familial contract, Ruth stayed by Naomi’s side, choosing to walk in faith with her mother-in-law. Ruth’s faithfulness to her husband’s family remains relevant when they return to Bethlehem.

Boaz is bound by the same legal and familial laws to marry Ruth, but he chose to protect her before he ever agreed to marry her. So Boaz and Ruth both followed the law, but it was their love and respect for one another and their faithfulness to God that sealed their bond. Though we often read Old Testament stories and wonder about the law that so often seems to control and confuse, the story of Ruth and Naomi and Boaz reminds me why God created the law: to help us choose loving and faithful relationships with one another and with God.

-Ingrid Miller

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