Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 23, 2014
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 23, 2014
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Centering and contemplative prayer ideas
"So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, 'Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.' Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, 'A son has been born to Naomi.' They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David."
It is easy to read Ruth again and again. People of all sexual orientations can be blessed by this lovely story. The Book of Ruth's profound words are meditations on commitment, love, and loyalty.
Consider writing blessings for yourself and those you love from the blessings found in this love story. Another valuable experience might be found in rewriting the prayers for help found in these four chapters. By rewriting prayers in our own words, we find ourselves in new conversations with God and aware of God's loving presence in our lives.
Where are you in this love story? Where is God in your life? What does it mean to be a soul friend in a Ruth and Naomi relationship? Are you considering a Holy Union or marriage? Perhaps Ruth's words of commitment might be appropriate for your ceremony and vows. Or perhaps you are in a relationship where the love and commitment are gone. Perhaps lingering with Ruth may offer some profound and life-changing insights for your relationship. Or writing your answers to these questions in a journal might be spiritually empowering for you.
Consider centering prayer with one of the sacred names for God used by Ruth. Ruth gives us several names for God that we can use in prayer. "Lord" (Yahweh) is used 17 times. "God" (Elohim) is used three times, and "Almighty" (el Shaddai) is used twice.
God's activity is mentioned numerous times (Ruth 1:13, 20-21; 2:20; 4:12, 14). Prayers are prayed by people with immediate needs in life (Ruth 1:8, 9; 2:12; 4:11, 12). Responsible relationships are seen in Ruth 1:17 and Ruth 3:13. Redemption is a key concept in the book of Ruth with the Hebrew word emphasized through the use of twenty-three various forms of the word "redeem," "redemption," and "kinsman-redeemer." Why is this important? Ruth is an ancestress of Jesus (Matthew 1:1, 5) and ultimately her story prepares us to experience Jesus as the long awaited and eagerly anticipated divine redeemer/Christ in the New Testament. Linger with these verses in prayer and expect God to bless your spiritual reading and meditation.
The bottom line in Ruth, however, is that the story teaches us how to bless one another with spoken words of high value, meaningful touch, and commitment to see the blessing fulfilled (Ruth 2:4, 19 and 20, and 3:10). It is a story about chesed, the Hebrew word for love, kindness, and loyalty that is often demonstrated by God towards humans. We are to share our chesed with others through intentional acts of kindness, love, and loyalty in our community and personal relationships (The lovely word chesed is found in these verses, Ruth 1:8; 2:20, and 3:10).
May all the blessings of "chesed" living be yours, and for those you love. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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