Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/8/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Elk City UMC
Havana UMC
Parsons District
Elk Falls UMC
Grenola UMC
Longton UMC
Moline UMC
Parsons District
Erie Federated Church
Galesburg UMC
St. Paul, KS UMC
Parsons District
Fall River UMC
New Albany UMC
Severy UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

Ruth 1:17-18

Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

 

Today's Devotional

Ruth’s life was symbolized by uncompromising determination. The decision to follow Naomi and to go wherever Naomi went, to take Naomi’s people as her people, was extraordinary on its face. Despite the unfortunate circumstances that had befallen her life, Ruth made the exceptional decision to embark on an uncharted territory, Bethlehem of Judah. She might have envisioned a new blessed life beyond Moab in her oath to follow Naomi. Her determination was intertwined with the love of the God of Naomi. “Your God will be my God.” Reading her unshakable commitment and passion strikes one with emulation goose bumps considering if we could have done it or moved by the desire to have such resolve.

Indeed, Ruth clung her resolution with a solemn oath, in which, if we are to take words literally, she swore by the name of the God of Israel. This reminds me about my childhood experience with the children in our community. Children would swear falsely to get away with a problem using God’s name. One would say, “I swear by God’s name.” But they were lying. Ruth’s vow or covenant emerged from the depth of her heart and love of a heartbroken Naomi. With this solemn oath, Naomi yielded in accepting Ruth on her faith journey. Greater things awaited Ruth’s future.

Considering such profound and deep commitment, one cannot help wishing if we had that kind of faith and hope.  Ruth’s determination had to have been accompanied by hope, peace, and yes, faith as she partnered with the invisible to accomplish the impossible. Her God would not allow anything bad to happen to her!! People would have asked where she was going, and her response was solidly inscribed in the vow she had made to Naomi. She was ascertained and committed to Naomi until Naomi died. Her commitment to die where Naomi died, the foreign land of Bethlehem of Judah was no small measure. 

Ruth is an example of cherishing and believing in God’s grace, teaching  us to yield to the connection from our spirit knowing that God is with us, no matter where we go and with whom we go. Naomi could not have expected this “gift” from Ruth. I see in this the power of accepting God’s gifts and vision to walk in God’s plan. It quietened her spirit which was in turmoil from grief.  For both Naomi and Ruth, they accepted a big measure of risk-taking entering unchartered territories. Advent season calls us to have such declarations and fortitude to venture into the unknown territories with determination. Those that follow Christ without steadfast faith and hope are like a door left half open, inviting strangers.  May this advent season empower us with unwavering faith in our devotions as we await Christ’s coming. O Come Lord Jesus! Amen
 
-Rev Ever V. Mudambanuki
 First UMC -Nebraska City

EMudambanuki@greatplainumc.org
 

Prayer for Reflection

O God impart in us the spirit of determination and risk taking in difficult circumstance of life. Teach us to be like Ruth who walked by faith and not by sight. Amen.

 

 

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