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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Will Our Faith Have Children?

Sermon Summary: Will Our Faith Have Children?

Will our faith have children? Not our children having faith. What will we believe? Not who. This is the last in the series on Ruth. Ruth 4: 13-22 is the scripture reading.

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."

16 Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

18 This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,

19 Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,

20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,

21 Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,

22 Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.
Rucker spoke to us of the importance of being informed. He reads 10 newspapers a day. Pastor Coleman reads one..the Post and Courier. What he turns to first is Andy Capp. Andy approached the vicar and asked how he is. The Vicar was trying to come up with a good line. Andy only takes a minute. We want 5 minute abs, children to grow tall quickly but id does not happen that way. Life takes time. Faith needs time to mature, grow, prune and blossom. There are no easy shortcuts. It takes hard work to see to it that our faith has children. We have responsibilities.

The decisions we make each day matter for the entire community, the world and all eternity. We have a choice each live for ourselves or for all eternity. We see how Ruth works out her own survival once her sons die. Orpah leaves her mother in law but Ruth stays. Where you go I will go. Where you lodge I will lodge and your people will be my people. It is the story of a Moabite woman being faithful to a vow she makes to Naomi and the God of Israel. The God of Israel blesses her and her community and her children and you and me.

Ruth and Naomi struggle for their survival. Ruth meets Moab through God's providence. He gives her lots of left over food and protects her from his men. Naomi comes up with a plan. Ruth is to go to Boaz in the dark of night, on the threshing room floor and lies beside him. Ruth asks Boaz to marry her. There was another next of kin who was first in line to marry Ruth. Boaz checks it out. The next day "no name" shows up at the city gate. He offers him the field but Naomi goes with it. It he accepts the field and not Naomi and Ruth, all he has will have to carry on in the name of Elimelech. "No name" is not interested in that. He preserves his own name which has been lost to history.

Boaz marries Ruth. The decisions we make every day matter. Not in the immediate family but the community now and in the future. God has called us to bear the name of another. Boaz and Ruth got married. God blesses them with a child and the community gathers around them. :He shall be to you a restorer of life." Hold on to that. Restorer of life! The women of the community named the baby. They came up with Obad which means servant. He was the father of Jesse, father of David. Through the generations God is working out promises.

Will our faith have children? God's promises are worked out generation through generation. We cannot assume our neighbors know about Jesus Christ. How will they live the faith if we don;t tell them? Teach them. Our faith celebrates the goodness of God. Will our faith have children? God's purposes are being worked out through us. May our faith have children.


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