During August we as a church are looking at the book of Ruth, the eighth book in the Bible. Our sermon series is called, “Ordinary People. Extraordinary God.” Only four chapters long, the book of Ruth follows a short story during the time of the Judges (around 1100 years before Jesus was born). It was a time when God’s people were constantly turning away from God, when everyone did as they pleased. During this time, there was a famine in the land.
Naomi’s sons also die, and so Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. She tells her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers, and remarry. Orpah reluctantly leaves; however, Ruth insists on returning to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law.
Ruth is a story of loyalty to God, and God’s loyalty to his people as Ruth, a woman was seen by many as an “outsider”, becomes part of God’s story of redemption – and even part of the family line of King David, and ultimately, Jesus (check it out in Matthew 1). Maybe you have sometimes felt like an outsider in society or even (sadly) in the church? Or maybe you just see yourself as a very ordinary person, and maybe you don’t see yourself as someone that God could use in his plan – well think again!
Ruth is a story that tells us that God can use all of us – and God wants to use all of us! And all we need to do is to be faithful to God and to let him lead us and guide us, and be faithful to each other and to care for one another and make sure there is a place for every person – especially those on the margins – in God’s family!
If you haven’t already, I invite you to read the book of Ruth this week… it’ll take you 10, maybe 15 minutes… it’s only 85 verses long! And let’s get ready to hear from God over the coming few weeks through the book of Ruth.