English Standard Version (ESV)
The book of Ruth is beautiful in a number of ways. What I love most about it is the way that people from different places find themselves together, and the devotion they have is striking. Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, moved to Moab with her husband and sons, all of whom died, leaving her with two Moabite women. Naomi was returning home and gave both women the chance to return to their homes and start over. One does, but Ruth remains devoted to her mother-in-law, telling her that she will follow her wherever she will go, and she will worship whomever Naomi worships. She doesn't have -- she chooses to.
Wouldn't it be great if we had this type of devotion to one another? We don't have to in today's culture -- it's easy to stay within our own lives, to not stray into unknown places. It's too easy to miss out on building relationships with people different than we are. It requires an active choice. Ruth made that choice. We, also, need to make that choice, to build relationships with people, to devote ourselves to people different than ourselves, who have walked a different path and see the world from a different angle. It's easy to be insulated. That's certainly the most comfortable route.
But what's it look like to make ourselves uncomfortable? I think of Jesus, walking towards the Gerasene demoniac -- walking towards anyone labeled as a demoniac feels uncomfortable, right? Or Jesus going up to lepers. What about Peter in jail, staying there for the sake of the jailer? How's that for comfort?
Following Christ where he leads is not always easy or comfortable. We're called to love and serve one another. Everyone you meet is someone you can serve, and they all have something to teach you. May we approach one another with the attitude of Ruth, devoting ourselves to serving. May we pray for Christ to bring people into our lives to teach us about service, to teach us about how diverse and beautiful the Gospel is. May we look for ways, for authors, for public figures, for leader, to diversify our relationships that we may serve in new ways, and the Gospel may spread, one person, one relationship at a time.