2011 Reading quotes reading Resources

Gleanings from “The Gospel of Ruth”

August 15, 2011

“Ultimately the impact of submission means those with power over others give it up. Women grow strong and flourish as kingdom builders. Children thrive and begin to realize their calling to give back. And slaves walk free, side by side in full equality with their Christian brothers who were once their masters.”

“The sermon on the Mount knocked down the walls that religious living had constructed around God’s law and pointed to a way of living that goes beyond the letter of the law to the spirit. Formal religion only takes us so far – for it is both safe and doable. Love however, knows no limits, takes costly risks, and looks for ways to give more.”

“Boaz gets the shock of his life when a first-time gleaner–a foreigner at that–takes him to a higher level of obedience. By her actions, Ruth is not merely going the distance to fight for her mother-in-law’s needs, she is also pressing Boaz to color outside the lines of his understanding of God’s law. The letter of the law says, ‘Let them glean.’ The spirit of the law says, ‘Feed them.’ Two entirely different concepts. Ruth’s bold proposal exposes the difference.

God’s law creates a healthy conflict of interest for Boaz. At harvesttime, God meant for landowners like Boaz to wrestle with such basic questions as, How big is a corner? How wide is an edge? How thoroughly do I want my workers clear my fields of grain, given the fact that we only have one chance to clear it? How much will I leave behind for the poor? Walking with God takes us into a sea of possibilities that stretch our capacity for sacrifice and our imagination for obedience, reminding us there’s always more to following God than we think.”

“Although Boaz wasn’t hiring Ruth, his actions create a powerful gospel scene: a gleaner seated alongside paid workers, a Moabitess dining with Israelites, a man serving a woman, the poor included among the rich, an outsider embraced by the inner circle. Looks like the kind of feasting Jesus would have enjoyed, a prefiguring of the kind of world his gospel restores, where ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). Ruth was on the losing end of all three categories, but Boaz refuses to maintain those boundaries. Ruth embraced God’s people sight unseen on the road from Moab. Now they are embracing her.”

~excerpts from The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules (Carolyn Custis James).

You Might Also Like