Not An Island.

Read Ruth 2:1-3:18.

Ruth 2
1Now Naomi had a relative on her husbandʼs side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.
2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.
4Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they answered.
5Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”
6The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
8So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Donʼt go and glean in another field and donʼt go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
10At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”
11Boaz replied, “Iʼve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
13“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”
14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”
When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and donʼt reprimand her. 16Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and donʼt rebuke her.”
17So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
19Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.
20“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”
21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’ ”
22Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone elseʼs field you might be harmed.”
23So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 3
1One day Ruthʼs mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but donʼt let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemerof our family.”
10“The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11And now, my daughter, donʼt be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”
15He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town.
16When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”
Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Donʼt go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ”
18Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

We find ourselves in a place where we don’t know which way to turn; maybe we have lost a loved one or maybe our career is not going as planned. Regardless of the issue, it is easy to turn inward for answers, when in reality, right beside us is someone that can help. We are not alone, even though it is easy to feel that way in times of turbulence; no matter the size of the dilemma, we can take comfort in knowing that someone else has experienced it as well – and they are waiting to help us. Just as Jesus is right there in front of us, waiting for us to let Him into our hearts, so is a friend waiting for us to reach out and ask for help. All we have to do is ask.

© 2017 Schweitzer United Methodist Church
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