Jon Moss – Pastor
You Don’t Have to Wait to Be Accepted
Recently we have seen several of our youth start college, and do we ever miss them. At the same time, we are happy for their next steps in life. This process of going to college started many months ago searching out the college or university that you want to attend. Then you make applications, fill out all the forms, and of course there is how will we pay for all this. Once that work is done you wait to hear back. Finally, a letter comes with the words you hoped for “ACCEPTED!”
We all have a desire to be accepted, don’t we? In fact, that desire made it into Maslow’s well-known hierarchy of needs. He theorized that acceptance is basic to our nature and to our psychological health.
As we continue our series on “The Story” we start November with the idea of being accepted. Ruth had the same need as we do. She was a Moabite living in Bethlehem. She ended up there with her mother-in-law Naomi when her husband died. And she found herself picking up the leftovers after the harvest in a field owned by Boaz.
Boaz discovered she was an outsider—a Moabite—the same people who would oppress his nation for eighteen years. You’d expect fireworks when they met. Instead, Boaz tells Ruth, “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
His acceptance of Ruth goes a step further. Ruth finds him asleep on the threshing floor and lies down at his feet. When he awakens, Ruth asks him to “spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a family guardian.” The word for “garment” is the same Hebrew word for “wings” in the blessing Boaz had pronounced over Ruth. God’s acceptance came to Ruth through Boaz.
Your acceptance did too. You see, Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. In Matthew’s genealogy the lineage of Jesus is traced through David. Boaz is there too along with his mother Rahab (Matt. 1:5). Yes, that Rahab. The prostitute that lived in Canaan and sheltered the two spies Joshua sent into the land.
As we approach Thanksgiving this year and consider how we have been blessed perhaps we should ask this question, who will we spread our garment over? Who will we accept under our wings? Truth be told, our youth are in college because there were people who took them under
their wings at different times in their lives with love and support and that is true for us as well. For that I am thankful!