When was the last time you rejoiced? Not just the last time you gave a half-hearted compliment or the last time you sang “Happy Birthday” to a coworker before diving headfirst into a slice of Ukrop’s sheet cake. But when was the last time you really went for it - the last time you made huge deal out of an accomplishment or a birthday? How about the last time you gushed over one of your children just because they’re yours? Or the last time you sang the praises of a dearly loved friend for any reason at all? …When was the last time someone rejoiced over you?
In the last chapter of the book of Ruth we find women rejoicing in Naomi - a far cry from where we started in chapter one. As we prepare for worship, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to heighten our awareness of its work in the world and to increase our sensitivities to the circumstances that should elicit rejoicing in our hearts. And if we find our hearts too weary to rejoice, remember these words from Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing”
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13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.