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Our Redeemer

Recorded on July 18th, 2021

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Transcript of Sermon:

check one two am i loud enough okay oh check one two i think everyone can hear me and here i am right here all right i’m going to mute myself [Music] test test test test okay that’s better it’s like this morning can you hear me now test test can you hear me can you hear me yes okay it’s happening all right i’m so glad you can hear me i’m so glad to see you all this morning i appreciate so much getting to be here with you all a little bit of rain coming today so especially on these kinds of mornings when we come out we’re able to be together it’s really a gift and so i’m glad to see you all this morning we got a few announcements uh this morning to kind of keep in mind today is our leadership board meeting for those who are able to stick around i want to remind you guys those board meetings generally are open meetings of course only the the members of the leadership board get to vote and that kind of thing and also sometimes you’ll have the staff perish committee issues the human resources basically issues and so in those cases we’ll just ask folks who are not on the committee to step out but otherwise i encourage folks especially if you might think you may want to one day be in leadership in the church come on and sit and watch hear the conversations i want folks to know that generally for them in most cases those are open meetings and we have ours today right after the church service are there any other i know i’m going to look around and give you an opportunity is there anything i’ve missed we’re we’re in those first few weeks where i’m still learning so feel free to if there’s any announcements that i’ve missed that you’d like to remember right now just to let you guys know school will start um we believe that it’s going to start in a few weeks they’re making plans early in august when that gets going when folks get their fall schedules kind of set we’re going to look at restarting some other small group stuff i know there’s a lot of small group things that we’ve had to let go of a lot of churches have had to kind of step away from some of that stuff we’re going to figure out some ways maybe some bible studies some fellowships to do those and to do those in ways where we are continuing to to be careful um we know that we are have a lot more freedom than we did a year ago at this time but we want to continue to be careful because we’re not we’re not quite there yet we have folks who are continuing even in our community to get very sick um even this week uh my husband where he is his pastor has been out for three weeks with coven and he had the vaccine and so um so we just want to continue to be careful but we do want to develop opportunities in the next couple of months to do small group bible study fellowship things so let’s continue to talk about that in the next weeks and couple of months okay and i’m i encourage you to reach out to me and continue to talk and educate me i’m willing to learn so please please continue to talk to me about those things all right well let’s open this morning with a word of prayer merciful father um holy god this morning as i even sensed and can see that kind of the gray outside the gray clouds covering and surrounding us lord god the the prospect of rain coming father and all of these things this morning this sound of the bird singing this morning as we got up and got out of our home and even the conversation the sound of your sons and daughters brothers and sisters gathering and all of these things lord god we see your glory father god we praise you this morning praise you and thank you for the gift of breath and health by which we can come and gather in person we praise you and bless you father god for the provision of this space merciful father what a great gift and those who have gone on before us who have provided this space a place to gather and to worship and to wait on you together as one body this morning i ask that you will send your holy spirit come into this place we welcome you father god that you would lead us in this time of worship in this time of study lord god that we may have a new sense of your presence and your grace i lift up to you those who are joining us even right now and continuing to join us through this live stream this morning blessing and praise to your name lord god for that provision come holy spirit lead us in this time let the things we do and save the glory and honor of your holy name in the name of the lord jesus christ we pray amen so this morning we’re going to begin um i had you guys standing a lot last week and i understand we don’t do a lot of standing now so i want to but i’m going to let you i’m just going to let you if you want to stand during our hymns please feel free and we’ll let them switch the cameras back there i had one person who was doing live stream last week i got to go visit them and she said well i saw good morning oh that was the holy spirit just kicked in there no all right that’s no problem at all but she on someone who was watching from home and she said i saw the back of someone’s shirt for several minutes and it was a lovely back of the shirt and so we’re still learning this process of worshiping here in person but also really honoring those who are joining us online and so if you would like to stand during the singing of our hymn i invite you to do so you may also bring out your handles we are going to start with hymn number 64. holy holy holy lord god almighty i’m unmuted now we’re not going crazy we’re all good [Music] holy holy holy lord god almighty early in the morning our song shall rise to thee holy holy holy merciful and mighty god in three persons blessed trinity holy holy holy all the saints adore thee casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea jeremy and [Music] though the eye of sinful men thy glory may not see only thou art holy is none beside thee perfect in power in love and purity holy holy holy lord god almighty all thy work shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea holy holy holy merciful and mighty god in three persons blessed trinity amen so now i want to invite you to have a seat for just a moment we’re going to do a virtual passing of the peace welcoming those who are joining online um stephen i wonder if you might be able to share with us and you can use the mic or you can just call it out and i’ll repeat what you’re saying some of the folks who are joining with us online this morning hello hello hello just making sure you all can hear me we can hear you great so we have gene and george clark hi gene and george it’s good to see you all this morning and to connect with you guys we have donna lancaster hey donna how are you we have roger and beverly chesser hi roger beverly good morning and i think that’s it no joey shake i don’t want to forget about joey joey it’s very very nice to thank you guys so much for joining it is really a gift um as i say as we’re still kind of navigating this season and we’re waiting back in i like to use that someone said this we can’t dive in but we can wade back in and so there are a number of folks who are continuing to worship and their homes and online and what a gift that is so thank you all very much for joining us this morning now we will continue with our time of worship we will go to our gathering hymn hymn number 526 if you would like to use your hymnals what a friend we have in jesus stand if you’d like [Music] what a friend we have in jesus all our sins and griefs to bear what a privilege to carry [Music] everything to god in prayer oh what peace [Music] needless pain we bear all because we do not care to god in prayer have we trials and temptations is there trouble anywhere we should never be discouraged take it to the lord in prayer can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share jesus knows our every weakness it to the lord in prayer are we weak and heavy laded comfort with a lot of care precious savior’s still a refuge take it to the lord in prayer [Music] do thy friends despise forsake thee take it to the lord in prayer [Music] in his arms still taken children [Music] be seated so now i want to enter into a time of celebrating acts of service through our community we have this hearts here and i encourage you guys to continue to work on that board we’re going to make some change maybe this fall and do some things kind of a little differently there but continue to just share with folks i think it’s an encouragement for all of us to continue to see the ways that we can serve and what a privilege and a gift it is to be able to serve and i want to kind of open it up now would anyone like to share a story this way i don’t want to put you on the spot but a time when either you were blessed with the opportunity to serve to serve someone or when you saw someone else sir even a testimony about someone else’s willingness to serve in these last days and weeks okay a good friend of mine is sort of stuck in a like bad toxic roommate situation right now [Music] and uh the way that athens does their leasing on like rental properties is often they have maybe a week or so built in from when a lease will end when the next one will start like cleaning time right um and so my friend has about a week and a half span where they just would not have a place to stay before their next lease okay um and my roommates and i are gonna have the opportunity to sort of counsel her for a week and a half and let her keep her stuff in our garage and yeah just sort of help certain that process so she can leave a very bad roommate situation and get into a much better one that is a great gift of service opening up your home and letting folks come and stay in your space is a lot to know but for her so like it’s a female to provide her a safe space to be means a lot so that is a great example i appreciate you sharing that with us this morning um just this morning we you know on sundays the thing about the gift of sunday mornings um at the church is that the doors are wide open you open the doors anyone that’s the time of the week when you welcome anyone and so this morning before our service we had a gentleman come in and needing a little bit of help and the church was able to kind of support him he needed some help with a couple of things and what a gift that is really the opportunity that the privilege of having the resources given by god to be able to see those move forward in a way that glorifies god our provider so i just want to thank you all of you for your faithfulness in this congregation and this community to serve and encourage you continue to be open to serve continue to pray let the holy spirit guide you when you hear about these circumstances with folks around you who are in need and just say a little prayer right then okay father what do you want me to do here i’ve probably prayed that prayer i don’t know how many times you know i don’t know what to do here help me and then he’ll give you that peace um and it’s even it’s even good practice so i just encourage you and thank you all very much for that we’re going to enter now into our time of prayer for the service i do y’all have your prayer list i want to add a couple let’s continue to keep miss irma guests in our prayers they she and janet and elaine their family they you know just had some things kind of going on janet said it would be okay to share that with you all some time of more transition sometimes transition it’s even good transition even you know welcome transition but it’s hard you know any transition means you’re leaving something behind all change requires a process of grief and so just lift up that family continue to keep them in your prayers we also we’ve added um dakota and caroline to our prayer list this morning as well so we will lift them up in our prayers you add those to our list are there any others prayer requests that you all would like to add to our list this morning jane say her last name again baby okay family of edith baby thank you thank you for that prayer request i know there are a lot of unspoken requests stephen you are you calling to share with me yes okay uh just for everybody around the world and around the country who’s still uh suffering from covid covet um i appreciate you raising that always saying to some folks you know we are there’s articles coming we’ve just read this week the rate is going up um it is going up primarily amongst those who are unvaccinated um but in our i looked in georgia we are i think about 50 of those who are eligible for vaccines in our state maybe a little less 40 to 50 are vaccinated fully we’re one of the lowest um unfortunately in the country in our counties i look at clark we live in clark i know a lot of you guys are in oconee um about 40 50 of folks who are eligible um for the vaccine are vaccinated as i understand and i we’re all learning um when you’re fully vaccinated i am a couple of my kids are too young so they still are not uh but there is i’m not worried about myself you know the possibility of getting very sick is we know much lower but there is still that possibility of catching and sharing um and so the concern is for those who who have not gotten the vaccine we know a lot of folks i do who probably are not planning to get the vaccine and so again i just really appreciate that that prayer request and we want to be able to move forward and uh to and so we’re just not quite there and so let’s continue to pray let’s pray for wisdom let’s pray for protection um and then again on sunday mornings you know continue to remember our doors are open for anyone to come in and say let’s just be continue to be mindful and praying for those folks still i’m walking through this season that’s what we are so thank you very much for raising that request okay and then of course we have i have kind of been able to go through some of these in our basket here um slowly i want to i want to take my time working through some of these requests um and continue to encourage you guys again we we remember this is a symbol you know but they’ve come to come and to lay these prayer requests at the altar the peace laying down that burden i want to encourage you guys to do that um i’m hoping maybe to have some hours once we get into the fall where the the doors maybe during the week one morning or afternoon the doors are just open so folks can come and just spend time at the at the altar rail we can’t really do it on sundays because of lots of folks and we don’t want to get too close but but i just want to encourage you to continue to do that thank you for offering up these prayer requests so let’s go to the lord now in prayer merciful father this morning um lord god we praise you we just ask father that you will and your grace continue to reveal to us how to honor you how to wait for you lord god that your glory will be revealed merciful god because you are glorious god you are holy god just and righteous father god and it is your passion lord god that we would be drawn closer and closer to you through your son the lord jesus christ that we may know you father god and that we may know that you love us lord god and so this morning we praise you merciful father you have heard the request this morning you see those needs even in the community sitting here this day you see the needs of those who are in their homes and worshiping from other places this morning lord god we bless you and praise you god that you do not leave us you do not forsake us this morning even when we are not aware of your presence lord god still you are there you are faithful holy god and so this morning i lift up to you these needs i lift up to you every single name on our list those who have been lifted and added this morning this quiet silent prayer request the places of hurt and our souls and our hearts in our relationships father god the places where we are in grief sometimes we come to these places and even to church and we feel we’ve got to put on a good face and we need to look happy and we need to present ourselves well but merciful god we praise you that in your throne room we do not need to do any of that we can lay down all pretense we can lay down all faces and we can just come before you and lay all of our our needs and our burdens before you merciful god and so that is my prayer this morning that every single person in this congregation gathering online in these communities lord god will come honestly before you and say lord god have your way help me to know what to do father i looked up to you those who are our first responders in our community those who are serving in military the families of these your sons and daughters who are serving in these ways in the name of jesus christ come holy spirit let your covering your guidance your wisdom protection discernment bless these your sons and daughters and their families we lift up to you those this morning who are grieving those who are hurting from a loss they can’t even describe in words the pain they feel because once again what we knew is gone in the name of christ jesus i pray holy spirit come bring your comfort bring your peace the peace that transcends all understanding lord god let us continue to turn to you again and again in everything merciful father i praise you and thank you this morning for your provision we are about to receive the offering lord god we praise you lord god that you are our provider god i pray that you will bless this provision that you will continue to provide for those of families in this community for their needs and for those around lord god let this church be a place of your provision being revealed and poured out lord god that you would be glorified and all that we do in the ways that we serve the ways we speak father god and now i pray you will bless us as we pray together this prayer which your son the lord and king jesus christ taught his disciples to pray we pray our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us lead us not in true temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever amen amen so now we um want to take a time to remember our offer tour we do this um this part is a little more awkward i’ll be honest because we don’t get to pass around the plates and so but i appreciate you guys so much uh just your your grace as we are continuing to give faithfully we do have the offering plate it’s back here in the back there’s one up here in the front you can before you go after you go you can drop it off we also of course have uh tithely i’m learning about how that works and that apparently that changes a lot too so you guys in your grace the ways you have been so faithful especially through this season i want to say thank you to that so now let’s just pray a blessing over our offering and then we will celebrate together our doxology and our apostles creed merciful lord and we praise you and thank you again for your provision i pray you will bless the tithes and the offerings those things that are brought into this congregation father god grant us wisdom and discernment to use these things these provisions lord god according to your will not our will in the name of the lord christ jesus we pray thank you father [Music] amen praise god from whom all blessings flow praise in all creatures here below praise him above the heavenly host praise father son and holy ghost amen so while you are standing let us remember together our apostles creed this morning it is a gift um to be able to remember this creed which the church has celebrated and remembered for so many generations before us and is on the screen wonderful so i believe in god the father almighty maker of heaven and earth and in jesus christ his only son our lord who was conceived by the holy spirit born of the virgin mary suffered under pontius pilate was crucified dead and buried the third day he arose from the dead and he ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of god the father almighty from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead i believe in the holy spirit the holy catholic church the communion of saints the forgiveness of sins the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting amen you may be seated [Music] and god who made the winners and the summers the one who put the stars all in their place the only one who stands above all others he knows me by name the angel’s hide the faces in his presence [Music] the demons run for cover when you speak you rule the world and reign above the habits and still draw close to me [Music] and when i close my eyes i know that i’m not just hoping i’m not just wishing i know i’m praying to a god who’s listens i know he heals me i know he’s living yes i am praying to a god who listens [Music] he walks with me and leads me by still waters i’ll lay my troubles down at his feet [Music] it’s amazing that the savior and the father he is friend to me how can it be i’m not just hoping i’m not just wishing i know i’m praying to a god who listens i know he heals me i know he’s living yes i’m praying to god who listens [Music] oh a god who listens [Music] a god who listens who knows me who loves me who will never fail me [Music] who knows me [Music] [Music] remind me you are always for me so i come only to your throne i know that i’m not just open i’m not just wishing yes i’m praying to god who listens lord a promise that we’ve been given yes we are praying to god who listens i’m not just open i’m not just wishing yes i am praying to a god who listens a lord a promise that we’ve been given yes we are praying to god who lives [Music] [Applause] amen thank you so much tom so now we will get into the scriptures a little bit this morning our passage this morning’s a little bit long so i want to go ahead and apologize for that um take us a little bit of time to get through there if you’d like to read along we’re in the book of ruth uh we’re gonna be on i think it’s page 235 on the in your few bibles if you’d like to read along we’re in the first chapter of ruth we’re going to read verses 1 through 19. i think this is a familiar story for most of us so hear the word of god ruth 1 verse 1. in the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land so a man from bethlehem in judah together with his wife and two sons went to live for a while in the country of moab the man’s name was elimelech his wife’s name was naomi and the names of his two sons were maelon and kilian they were ephrathites from bethlehem and judah and they went to moab and they lived there now elimelech naomi’s husband died and she was left with her two sons and they married moabite women one named orpah another named ruth and after they had lived there about 10 years both maelon and kilian also died and naomi was left without her two sons and her husband when naomi heard in moab that the lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them she and her daughters prepare to return home from there with her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of judah then naomi said to her two daughters-in-law go back each of you to your mother’s home may the lord show you kindness as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me may the lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her we will go back with you to your people but naomi said return home my daughters why would you come with me am i going to have any more sons who could become your husbands return home my daughters i am too old to have another husband said even if i excuse me even if i thought there was still hope for me even if i had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons would you wait until they grew up would you remain unmarried for them no my daughters it is more bitter for me than for you because the lord’s hand has turned against me at this they wept aloud again and then orpha kissed her mother-in-law goodbye but ruth clung to her look said naomi your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods go back with her but ruth replied don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you where you go i will go where you stay i will stay and your people will be my people and your god my god 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 and so the two women went on until they came to bethlehem and i meant to cut that off when they arrived in bethlehem the whole town was stirred because and the women exclaimed can this be naomi i’m sorry i left that last piece of that verse out of my notes so this is the word of god for the people us the people of god and thanks be to god so let’s pray lord god thank you for this your word this morning father i thank you for your grace that even when i make mistakes and don’t get the whole text lord god you are so good to us i pray you will bless this word these next few moments come holy spirit minister and speak according to your will in the name of jesus christ i pray amen so this morning we’re looking at a pretty familiar story uh the story of ruth and naomi and really in this little story there’s a lot going on here i think when we read through it sometimes we miss a lot of the details and so i’m i want to look a little bit this morning of some of the background and get a little context for these folks we’re speaking about and the second thing i’d like to really look at in this story is what this teaches us about redemption like redemption that’s one of those words we hear a lot in the church but i think it’s good sometimes to stop and to say what are we talking about here why does this matter i think it’s okay to ask these questions and so in this story in that very first verse we see that this story occurred in the days when the judges ruled now that’s an important piece there this book um is the book of ruth just before this book in the bible we have the book of the judges all right and so this was a time the time of the judges this was a time after moses so the israelites are living in the promised land but they don’t have a king this is before israel was given a king and so there are these leaders who are raised up they’re spiritual leaders and maybe um sometimes political leaders military leaders um but they aren’t really politically installed leaders as a king would be and the time of judges is really sort of considered to be a dark time in the history of israel so they are in their promised land they’re trying to form themselves into a proper nation but they’re not always doing a great job honestly there’s a lot of mistakes and some of the darkest most atrocious stories that we have in the scriptures they occur in the time of the judges and so it’s not a book it’s not one of my favorite books if you get into the book of judges but then we get into this book of ruth and this is a story about a little family they are living in the time of the judges i think it’s important to see that and this family is from the tribe of judah we see that and because of a famine they’re forced to leave their home in bethlehem now that’s a name that we know right so they leave their home they are forced to go off to moab now moab was about 50 miles from bethlehem for on foot with a family probably about a week’s work you know walk getting there into this new place they’re gonna go find food and work over in moab and now we said this last week this sort of thing happens a lot in the scriptures we see this a lot where the lord picks his people up from the things that they’ve always known and moved them into a new thing right and so we see this happening here again they they’re leaving the security of their home and the way things have always happened and they’re moving to this new place in order to continue to grow and to survive and they go this family goes together and so after they’ve been in moab for some time the husband elimelech dies all right and so we have the two sons and they look marry local moabite ladies now these are not israelites we need to make that point that’s obvious these are ladies who are descendants of moab here in one of these ladies is ruth now who’s moab i want to take a second to think about that who are these ladies i think it’s good to know when we’re talking about ruth and this incredible story who was ruth well she was a moabite and and the first time we hear about moab is way back in genesis in chapter 19. so this is a story um really about abraham’s nephew his name was lot maybe you guys remember a lot and there’s the story of lawton he came when abraham left his father’s home lot came with him and then a lot ended up settling with his family and sodom remember sodom and gomorrah right these cities that were known to be very dark evil places people were not very nice people there and so sodom was destroyed the lord destroyed it but he allowed lot and his daughters to escape well right after this lot one night had a little too much to drink maybe y’all know this story and the daughters say we need to go convince our daughter our father to have relations with us so that we may conceive a child this is the story of lot and so they do that and between this relationship between um lot and his daughter they have a child and one of the children who was born is moab that’s moab right and in fact that name moab means from my father so even the name itself is marked with some very dark shameful history and this is ruth’s history this is who ruth is right so i think it’s good to recognize who we’re talking about here as we begin to look at this work this story and the work of redemption that god is about to do right so eventually we don’t know how but both of the sons of naomi they both also die in moab and so naomi is now left she’s a widow she is a migrant she’s a foreigner and a foreign land and she’s now left to figure out how to take care of herself and she’s got these two moabite ladies living with her and so then she hears that back in judah the drought has ended there’s food there there’s work there there’s resources there and so she says i gotta go back to my home right so she leaves and of course she tells her daughters in law they should not go with her and then they you know have they said we want to stay with you and she says you need to stay with your families and moab and then we have this famous speech from ruth here and ruth says to naomi don’t urge me to leave you she says where you go i will go where you stay i will stay your people will be my people and your god will be my god where you die i will die and there i will will be buried ruth was prepared to die with naomi this is who ruth is it’s good to know what we’re talking who we’re talking about here so they go back to bethlehem and now ruth is the foreigner right ruth is now the widow and the migrant and she comes back from moabite no kid no less from moab and she has very few skills she no longer has her father’s name she no longer has his covering and protection her family’s back in moab but we remember this is a story about redemption so we set it all up saying asking that question what is god doing here with his little family from the town of bethlehem coming out of moab so now the ladies are back in bethlehem they need to find a way to eat so we’re going to talk a little bit more about some more of this story and to see what god is doing here so naomi she’s maybe you know the story she sends ruth out she begins to glean in the grain field so this was a custom those um the group those who owned land to own these grain fields they had workers the workers would come through they would harvest the land then the gleaners those who were poor and in poverty would follow the workers and they would pick up kernels and grains anything that was left behind well this is what ruth went to do she just went into this field and began to glean in the field and she finds herself gleaning in the field of boaz now boaz just happens to be one of naomi’s relatives in fact he’s a relative of her late husband elimelech all right in fact he’s one of the kinsmen redeemers now this is an interesting point here naomi’s late husband elimelech had some land he had some land back in bethlehem but now that elimelech and his sons have died that land is now naomi’s she gets to do with it what she wants and according to the law of moses if naomi decides to sell this property then the kinsman redeemer from elimelech’s family is obliged to buy it from her so they can keep it in the family does that make sense this is a little different for us they wanted to keep that land in a limoulx family so one of the kinsmen redeemers would be obligated to buy that land from her but there was a problem a little complication now ruth is with her too ruth is a widow of elimelech’s son so in their custom that meant ruth comes with the land to anyone who buys the land has got to take ruth because she’s a widow of one of the sons and so these are little pieces of this story that if it’s good to understand and the reason i really believe in the story is because it’s so complicated because that’s how life is and this one’s one of those and so boaz is one of these um kinsmen redeemers and he sees ruth he sees this this young lady out there gleaning in the fields he goes to a servant and this is the question he asked and this is key he asked this question about ruth to whom does that woman belong whose is she now that’s an awkward question for us that’s an uncomfortable question you know in our culture we don’t like to think of ourselves as belonging to anyone we like to think of ourselves as independent but this is the question that he asked about her and i’ve been thinking about that question and i’ve been thinking about redemption and what it means lately and i really believe that this question to whom does she belong i believe this is key it is everything you remember ruth didn’t own the property she was the widow of the sun right she wasn’t even a hired hand and she had she had walked on to boaz’s property without permission we’ve got to keep this in mind she was taking over left taking the leftover grains and colonels that rightfully belonged to him we need to remember the position of ruth here she’s a foreigner we’ve said that a migrant a moabite she’s poor few skills her family’s back in moab the only one who would claim her in bethlehem say yes she’s with me was naomi as a widow she didn’t really belong to anyone i think that is a crucial element here is recognizing this piece and asking that question to whom do you belong so after learning about ruth and her background it would have been reasonable for boaz to go to her and to say you know i’m sorry i appreciate you i’m sure it’s fine but i don’t know you i’m not sure i can trust you you’re i don’t know your family you’re not from here i’m gonna have to ask you to leave that would have been a very reasonable step for boaz but but here’s the key boaz does not concern himself with the world’s evaluation of ruth that is everything in redemption right he goes deeper he learns ruth’s story he learns about her character and he begins to see this is a child of god formed by the hand of almighty god and so instead of sending her away he welcomes her he says do not glean in any other fields stay here with my servants and then he says i’ve told my workers not to lay a hand on you he had to tell his workers don’t touch her remember this is the time of the judges bethlehem would not have been a safe place for somebody like ruth and so after some time she’s gleaning in the fields we know the story naomi says to ruth you need to go let boaz know that you’re interested in him this is a weird story i’m just going to be honest i encourage you to go read ruth it’s only four chapters but it’s so interesting but she goes to boaz she lets him know in her way that i am interested in being married to you boaz receives this well and so he goes to the family and he says i will redeem naomi’s land and that he knows that means you got to bring ruth into your this foreigner into your home he says yeah i’ll take it so he redeems the land he makes uh ruth his wife brings her into his home gives her his name and they have children together you know as i’ve been reading this story recently i’ve been thinking about some other folks who i know who really didn’t belong to anyone we’re thinking about some of those kids that we work with in russia we work with street children we work with a lot of kids whose mothers and fathers were unable to take care of them for whatever reason they were being raised in an institution i think thinking about the unaccompanied minors who we met and got to work with in greece and those refugee camps kids who had lost their mother and father along the way had arrived in turkey or had arrived in greece with no mother or father alone no one to claim them no one to receive them to embrace them and to say yeah he’s with us you know no one to recognize even in their brokenness even in the trauma that they carried but yeah but he’s he’s one of us she’s one of us they had no they belonged to no one and as i’m thinking about this idea of redemption today this redemption that we are offered in christ jesus i think we must be willing to ask ourselves honestly that question to whom do i belong today right i think about isaiah chapter 43 verse 1 says but now this is what the lord says he who created you jacob he who formed you israel do not fear for i have redeemed you i have summoned you by name and you are mine i think about song of psalms chapter 2 verse 16 the bride says this she says my beloved is mine and i am his they belong to each other and in redemption we see that we belong to the lord our god and even in our brokenness in our trauma even in our weakness though we have nothing to offer in return we have this incredible promise in our redeemer jesus christ do not fear for i have redeemed you even if all others reject you still i have summoned you by name and you are mine this is redemption but that’s not the end of the story now some scholars when look at the book of ruth they feel they believe that either the prophet samuel or maybe even king david wrote this story down now this was not written in the style that king david would normally use but he would have been very familiar with this story because this is a story about his great grandmother ruth is the great grandmother of king david now if you look at the genealogy of jesus christ in matthew chapter one ruth is there right she would eventually become the great great great descendant of our lord and king jesus christ and so if we go back a minute to that very first verse in ruth remember it stated in the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land but then we go to the very last verse in the book of ruth and it says this it says boaz was the father of obed obed the father of jesse and jesse the father of david what has god done here not only has he continued to take that next next step forward into the fulfillment of his promise but he is through this family taking israel out of the time of the judges and into the time of the kings of israel right this little story about this poor migrant widow from moab we see this incredible shift in the history of israel we see god take his people out of what has always been moving them into strange and even foreign places and activities and languages he hand selects this moabite woman right this foreigner to be the great grandmother of the greatest king that israel ever saw before israel even had a king and not only that but it was in the line of this king the line of king david the promised messiah would come and in fact this messiah would one day be born in the very place where these events take place in bethlehem we see the history even of our christmas story right here in the book of ruth this is not simply some inspiring story about a young widow who you know from moab and made this inspiring speech right but this is a story about god’s next move to bring the promised messiah who would come to live among us defeat sin and death a messiah in the line of david whose kingdom would never end this is a story about jesus christ this is redemption so as i close i’d like to ask a couple of questions to us today first of all to whom do you belong today do you know that you belong to him today do you know that you belong to your heavenly father that he receives you as his own did you hear that assurance and in the song of psalms chapter 2 verse 16 when the bride proclaims my beloved is mine and i am his do these words describe the intimacy and the assurance that you know in your relationship with jesus christ today because if they don’t then come see me after the service and we’ll pray but there’s one more question i want to ask this morning as we’re thinking about this incredible promise of redemption and the work of god’s redemption in our lives and our communities and this one i’m addressing to my brothers and sisters in christ jesus this morning in the church who are the roots in our community today like who are those folks that we sort of dismiss right that kind of view is even maybe a bit of a nuisance or it’s being not quite good enough right i mean then we say things like i’m sure they’re fine but they’re just not you know not like us they’re not one of us and i think things would just be easier more comfortable if maybe they just went to their own church stay in their own neighborhood right as we’re searching for god’s kingdom and as we’re looking for evidence of the work of his redemption in our communities in our world let’s be careful brothers and sisters to reflect on the example of ruth this foreigner this moabite nothing to offer the great work of redemption that he did in this life in a way that no one could doubt god has done this thing let’s allow the holy spirit to humble us to open our eyes so that we can begin to see folks in the community not based on the world’s judgment but based on god his grace that he formed them he made them by his hands let us serve and embrace and receive trusting not in our wisdom not in our abilities but trusting in jesus christ king and redeemer to the glory of his name so let’s pray holy god we thank you this morning lord god blessing and praise to your name for the story of ruth the example of your daughter your great work of redemption father god that no matter where the world tells us i know it it can’t be done it’s not possible lord god in all things you work to the good all things father god are possible not because of us and our wisdom lord god but because of you and your holy grace continue holy spirit to minister in your word revelation of your glory and your will thank you for this time in the name of jesus christ we pray amen so now we will sing together our hymn of response if you’d like to stand if you’d like to use your hymnal we are in hymn number 381 savior like a shepherd lead us we’ll do verses 1 3 and 4 this morning savior like a shepherd lead us much we need thy tinder care in thy pleasant pastures feed us for are you cyfolds prepare blessed jesus blessed jesus the hospital stein we are blessed jesus blessed jesus thou hast thou hast promised to receive us [Music] thou foreign mercy to relieve us grace to cleanse and power free blessed jesus blessed jesus we will early turn to thee blessed jesus blessed jesus we will early turn [Music] blessed lord and lordly savior with thy love our bosoms fill blessed jesus blessed jesus who has loved us love us still blessed jesus blessed jesus thou hast loved us love us still amen thank you all for being here with us this morning um that last hymnal is a hymn of response and traditionally that is the time that we come forward for prayer or if you want to join the church during that last town we’re still sorting that out i want to encourage you all though even if you’re not comfortable doing that sort of thing in the service come see me after the service i’m going to hang around we do have a meeting it’s in about 20 minutes so we can we can let that void if you want prayer if you want to talk about joining the church or any of those ways that you want to respond please come and see me all right so as you go this week i pray that you will go with a new sense of redemption the power and the prospect of the work of god to redeem us even in those places where the world sees no hope let our eyes be opened to receive and to know him more intimately this week to the glory of his name amen amen blessings to y’all [Music] you