By The Rev. Whitney Altopp
The Book of Ruth tells of the plight of two women who have no one to care for them. In a patriarchal society, women had security only in the men of their family. In an effort to provide for herself and Naomi, Ruth takes to gleaning in the fields, that is, following behind the reapers gathering any harvest they have left behind.
John 14 is referred to as the beginning chapter of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse. Over these next three chapters, Jesus tells his disciples of how he has cared and is caring for them, even as he knows that he must say “goodbye.”
These chapters from both the Old and New Testament tell of God’s provision and care for God’s people. There is a resounding emphasis through the laws of the Old Testament (leaving some of the harvest for the gleaners, looking to the next-of-kin to provide for the needy in the family) and the law of the New Testament (“love one another”) that God remembers the needs of the people. God trusts people to demonstrate God’s care for all through carrying out the commandments they have been given by God. This requires discipline on our part.
How have you come to know that your security is in God?
What are some ways that you are practicing carrying out Jesus’ commandment to love one another? What is one way that God is inviting you to do that better today?
God of All, you provide for all that you have made; increase my faith in your provisions. Give me opportunities to rely on you so that I can know most deeply the security that you provide through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Whitney Altopp is Vicar of St. Thomas Church, Whitemarsh in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania