Read Ruth 1:17
This is one of those stories that anyone who’s spent time in church has heard. No doubt you’ve heard Ruth’s story preached a number of ways through Naomi’s eyes, Boaz’s perspective or Ruth’s experience. Therefore, I will not endeavor to retell such a familiar story to you. However, I would like to note something here that is wholly contrary to life in these trying times and it is most certainly a significant aspect of understanding the splintering of the Church, the amputated feeling experienced by members of the Body. When Ruth’s first husband, Naomi’s son, dies she swears to remain with Naomi at the expense of her marital potential and hopes of motherhood. She chose to stay by her friend/mother-in-law no matter the ramifications and her own personal losses. What I see in young people (and not even that young, starting with children of the 80s I suppose) is an inability to fully engage with other people, to create and nurture long-lasting friendships. I was sitting next to a young woman at a women’s retreat and determined that I’ve been friends with my BFF longer than she’d been alive. Yet, the woman across from us, who was six years her senior, could not claim any meaningful, extended length friendships that still existed. Perhaps our first inclination is to blame the impersonal nature of modern day technology for separating us, one from another, but in reality I believe it is an ever increasing plague of selfishness. We are so utterly unwilling to sacrifice for each other it’s a wonder any church yet exists. Disconnected appendages do not grow, they rot and this is the road we’re on.
Father, wake us up to Your design for the Church and close our eyes to our own selfish desires. Please, Jesus, we’re asking in Your Name. Amen!