Saturday, March 12, 2005

Together, under the shadow of God's wings

Reflecting on Ruth. An awesome story of God's kindness and sovereign grace. Naomi returns empty and bitter after her disobedient self-emposed exile in Moab. She returns with the Moabite Ruth who makes an amazing commitment - "your God will be my God, your people will be my people".

She steps into the purposes of God and the people God. As she seeks refuge under God's wings God demonstrates his great kindess and love. Naomi's perceptions are reversed, as she ends the story full not empty, and back in the people of God herself.

Through Boaz, Ruth is shown God's kindness to her as an outsider. His sovereign grace works out in the ordinary things of community life to establish her in the people of God. And, as the story is told generations later, in the line of King David... and consequently Messiah Jesus. His backstory telling of the grace that comes through his death at the cross.

I've been struck studying this with Steve over the last few weeks at the way that she is included into the community - and as we reflect on God's grace to save its way more than just personal salvation achieved at the cross (not less that though). By his grace God is creating a new community - where the misfits are more than welcome, where the nations are all welcome.

I'm loving working that out in community with our church - in the meetings and conversations, sharing vision for the years ahead (church planting! c'mon!), in prayer and gathering around God's word. This is where intimacy with God works out, not just alone with God. Together we come under the shadow of God's wings, finding refuge in King Jesus!