I woke up to heavy rain this morning – grey skies and heavy rain in July seem particularly depressing! It’s easy at such times to feel despondent, but faith is as relevant on days like today as when the sun shines!
What do we do when the disconnect between the glories in the Bible and our everyday realities seems so great? How do we maintain faith in the dull and the humdrum, in our everyday lives?
Ruth is the book that shows us ordinary people in difficult circumstances still exhibiting grace and still finding love and God’s salvation. The time is famine. The circumstances involve multiple bereavement. In the midst of Naomi’s bitterness (‘Call me Mara’), we find Ruth: loyal, faithful, prepared to change, and we find Boaz: kind, just, faithful. And in the middle of this story of ordinary lives, we find a baby who becomes the ancestor of King David and of the Lord Himself, God working out His plans in unspectacular ways (what could be more ‘ordinary’ than a love story and a baby?!)
Ruth is the reminder that the ordinary matters, that God is found in the most mundane of places. It is the reminder that those obscure Levitical laws (Leviticus 19:9) about leaving the edges of fields for foreigners actually make a difference to someone’s daily life. Ruth is a book which connects the everyday and the sacred, and as such, is a vivid reminder to us that even when it rains on a July day and maybe spoils our plans for outdoor activities, God is still working for good in ordinary lives.