Messy Church is April 12 and the theme is The Book of Ruth. The doors open at 5:30. We will be having Janet Armstrong’s famous sausage casserole.
The Story of Ruth
The story of Ruth is a beautiful story of love, loyalty and faithfulness. The story begins in Israel, before the time of King David. A famine has gripped the land and there is hunger and suffering. A young family makes the difficult decision to leave their country and travel to live in a foreign land as refugees. Elimelech and Naomi are the parents and they have two young sons. The sons grow up and marry women, Ruth and Orpah, from their adopted land, but tragedy stalks the family and the husband and both the sons die. Naomi is devastated and decides to return to her own land to die. Her daughter-in-laws dutifully accompany her but Naomi takes pity on them and entreats them to return to their families. She has nothing to offer them and they would be entering a land with a different culture, religion and language. Orpah accepts Naomi’s reasoning that they need not become refugees as well and turns back to her home. Ruth will have none of it and in a beautiful passage says this to Naomi,
“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.”
So the two women returned to the town of Bethlehem and it was the time
of the barley harvest. Ruth asked Naomi to allow her to go in to the barley fields and walk behind the harvesters, picking up the fallen grains of barley so that she and Naomi could eat. Day, after day she followed the harvesters and the owner of the field noticed how hard she worked. As it happened, the owner of the field named Boaz, was a kinsmen of Naomi. He began to ask about Ruth and was told her story. Her loyalty and devotion to Naomi and her hard work in the fields impressed him. Eventually admiration turned into love and he and Ruth were married.
This is a truly great story. Ruth is very like God who has promised never to leave us and will forever give to us an unbreakable love. Even when we try to drive God away, God clings to us vowing to go where we go, to be with us where we are, to never leave us.