Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 9

“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.” 

Naomi blesses her daughters-in-law a second time – now with rest. May the Lord grant that each of you find rest.

Forsaking her own comfort, Naomi wishes rest for them.

How much would you say we are people at rest? In Hebrew, the word is menuchah. A place of permanence, comfort, quiet. It is often the phrase, ‘a resting place’.

The place of rest is a precious place. It can easily escape us. Our emotions are not at rest. Our bodies are rest-less. Our lives, especially in this pandemic, seem like they are limping from one day to the next.

The rest Naomi extends here points us to a deeper rest and a promise.

The good news is that we can truly have rest – at every level – in Christ. “Come to me all you who are weary”, said Jesus, “I and will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 8

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.”

Naomi blesses her daughters-in-law. She sends them back to their own homes, where they can have a future, and blesses them. This counter intuitive. In blessing and sending, Naomi is sending security and help away. She’ll now return home alone.

It’s a significant verse in Ruth. For the first time we hear the word, hesed. May the Lord deal kindly (hesed) with you.

The word means covenantal loyalty, kindness, goodness and love. It is one of two great theological foundations of this whole story.

In announcing the Lord’s hesed Naomi points us to the truth of Jesus Christ. In Him, we experience God’s ultimate kindness to us. One that never fails, no matter what we are facing.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great one with which he loved us…made us alive together with Christ…so that in the ages to come he might how the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-8)

Remember this promise today. It’s stronger than every other word you will hear along your way.

Children & Youth Lesson Sunday, November 1: John 11: 25-27

  1. Song of the Day, sing along with Pastor Greg: Rejoice!
  2. Bible Reading & Video Lesson with Pastor Greg: John 11: 25-27
  3. Ask – What do we learn about ourselves in this Scripture? Answer in COMMENTS below
  4. Ask – What do we learn about God in this Scripture? Answer in COMMENTS below
  5. Bible Verse Colouring Sheet – John -11:25 – Email to greg@cpchamilton.ca and we’ll show it!

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 7

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.”

Naomi is going home. It’s been a journey. But she’s returning to Judah.

She’s going home.

But things won’t be the way they were. Her life has changed. Her world has changed.

In all the vicissitudes of life. In all our journeys from Judah to Moab and back. With all the treasures and wounds we’ve acquired along the way. What is home. What does it mean to long for return.

Remember that as Christians, we step lightly here. Our true home is the hope of heaven. Paul writes, “20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 6

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-in-lawprepared to return home from there.”

This is the first mention of the Lord in Ruth. And the first mention of the Lord is about God’s help.

Naomi hears that the Lord has ‘considered’ his people. Or ‘attended’ to his people. Its a core affirmation in Scripture. The Lord hears, considers, attends, helps, protects, guides.

He is our all in all. In Hebrew the first ends in three Hebrews words, all starting with the same letter. “latet, lahem, lahem” – “giving, to them, bread”. A soothing sound.

And what’s more, it is help from the Lord in the most dire situation for Naomi.

Be encouraged. The Lord is the giver of bread. The provider. Our help and maker. Jesus said, “I AM the bread of life”! (John 6:35).

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 3-5ii

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.”

At the beginning of this story, Naomi can’t see the big picture. She can’t see how one day God will take her brokenness and pain, and transform it.

Naomi’s story will end in God’s wonderful provision, worked out in ways Naomi can’t imagine now.

What about you? Do you tend to see your present situation as final? How often to look at our lives and turn the future over to God?

Some one pointed out to me that as Christians what we have is to move forward and trust God. Leave the big picture to his providence and grace.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 3-5i

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.”

We think what we’re going through is bad. As this section ends, things couldn’t be worse for Naomi. Husband and son have died. She is now a widow – and in a foreign land. This is a double whammy against her.

Faced with declining years, no one to care for her and without status in a land and culture not her own, things look grim. No light at the end of the tunnel.

And that is how the Book of Ruth opens. Naomi in the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4).

We can find ourselves there too. Like the rug is pulled out from under us and life is turned upside down.

Take heart if that’s you. Take heart. Jesus, having been there too (Matthew 27:46), is more than able to help.

Its a measure of his incredible faithfulness that we’ll see in the rest of this story!

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Children & Youth Lesson Thanksgiving Sunday, October 25: John 11: 1-3

  1. Song of the Day, sing along with Pastor Greg: Jesus Loves Me
  2. Bible Reading & Video Lesson with Pastor Greg: John 11: 1-3
  3. Ask – What do we learn about ourselves in this Scripture? Answer in COMMENTS below
  4. Ask – What do we learn about God in this Scripture? Answer in COMMENTS below
  5. Bible Verse Colouring Sheet – John 11:3 – Email to greg@cpchamilton.ca and we’ll show it!
  6. Listen to a reading from Pastor Greg, of Little Pilgrim’s Progress: Chapter 3a and Chapter 3b
  7. Say a prayer you make up yourself!

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 3-5

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.”

Naomi experiences a double loss. A double bereavement. Her husband dies, then both her sons die. Naomi is left without them.

Sometimes we gloss over suffering. We offer platitudes. Or people offer them to us. Here, death, suffering, pain, tragedy are not hidden, scuttled away for more respectable conversation. Its a story in Scripture where suffering is front and centre.

And we meet a God who brings redemption through it.

In Walking with God through pain, Tim Keller reminds us, “The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or of how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God’s love is the only thing like that.”

Reassurance: Scripture for your day from the Book of Ruth – 1: 1-2b

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there.”

This household ends up in Moab, a foreign place. They leave Bethlehem, their home, the familiar, a place that means ‘house of bread’. They go far away. They exchange the known for the unknown. In Moab they are literally ‘strangers’. They are displaced.

Do you ever feel misplaced? Forced into situations or places that seem beyond your control. The pandemic is pushing into unfamiliar and difficult times.

But there is good news. The Lord says in the Psalms, ‘Moab is my washbasin!’ (Ps 60:8). Even the far away and the unfamiliar are no match for God’s greatness, goodness and power. Thanks be to God in Jesus Christ.