THE AFTERMATH | May Madness!

Ruth 1:16-22 New International Version (NIV)
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 
I graduated from Archbishop Brady High School (Now St. Croix Lutheran High School) in West St. Paul, MN. A musical group called, The Clash, released a song that we dubbed, “our senior class theme song”. The song was, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”. We were a close group (only 64 students in our graduating class). We were all pretty much in agreement that graduation would be a bitter-sweet experience for us. We were caught in the quandary between leaving the life we know and embarking on something unknown. We struggled with leaving our friends, many admired teachers, extracurricular activities, and the protection of living at home or the excitement of all the possibilities life could bring after high school.  After graduation we were looking forward to gainful employment, college or trade school, new relationships, and most likely moving away from home. The sadness of change versus the excitement of what was yet to come. Thus, the question, “Should I stay, or should I go”? 
This Sunday, Mother’s Day, I am excited to give the message for our worship service because the story from the Bible is one of my absolute favorites. It is the story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. The story begins with Naomi, her husband Elimelek, and their two sons Mahlon and Kilion, who leave their home in Bethlehem during a time of severe famine. They settle in a town called Moab and within 10 years, the two sons marry, Elimelek dies, and then the two sons die! The now widowed, childless Naomi tells her two daughters-in-law that they must each return to their families because she is unable to provide for them and because she will leave Moab to return to Bethlehem. One daughter-in-law kisses Naomi goodbye and leaves, but the other, called Ruth, stays by Naomi’s side, and tells her she will never leave her. It was never a question for Ruth of “should I stay, or should I go?”. Ruth was loyal and she was open to the challenges that life would bring as a widow and caretaker of another widow. And then enters a man named Boaz! 
May the story of Ruth teach us to trust God and trust others more fully.  May we learn from Boaz how to care for the poor and vulnerable around us. May we understand how God can use both big and little things to accomplish His great plans. May we all recognize Jesus as our true Kinsman Redeemer.

Pastor Deb Marzahn

Questions to Consider:
1. Is there a time when you have had to relocate somewhere? What adjustments did you have to make?
2. Have you ever had someone help you move? What did you appreciate about the help?
3. Have you ever had to rely on someone else for financial support? What were the circumstances? Have you ever given someone financial support? How did that make you feel?
4. Who is our true redeemer?  What is your relationship like with the ultimate “kinsmen redeemer?” How do you put your trust in Him?