Text: Ruth 2:1-12, Ruth 3:1-13, Ruth 4:1-6, 13-17, Isaiah 54:4-8, Matthew 1:5-6, 16
I’ve seen some seriously rough Christmases. I can think of at least one that ended in actual violence. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and our families every year to make this Christmas PERFECT. Since perfection isn’t possible (and since our perfection isn’t the point of Christmas anyway), I often find myself disappointed on Christmas morning instead of grateful and merry.
My family is broken in so many big and small ways. And since my husband and I have tried our hand at parenting, we have further shattered our ideals of Christmas morning bliss. We are never enough, and our children can never get it quite right either.
Isn’t it startling that even our Christmases are broken—the most joyful day of the year? We can’t hold it together for even that one day.
We, like Ruth, live in a world of brokenness. She was a Moabite and, therefore, foreign and out-of-place, widowed and alone, and supporting an aging mother-in-law.
Do you feel foreign or out-of-place this Christmas? Boaz gave Ruth a home and a place. And Jesus gives us a home and a place.
Do you feel alone? Boaz brought intimacy and companionship to Ruth. We as the Church get to be the “bride of Christ,” and Jesus brings us into closest, most intimate relationship we’ll ever know.
Do you feel the weight of caring for children or parents? Boaz brought relief and help to Ruth. Jesus brings relief to the weary heart.
As it turns out, the point of Christmas isn’t to make it perfect. It’s that we deeply need Christ’s redemption, so that even the weary world can rejoice. Jesus sees our brokenness, and He comes to redeem us, bind up every wound, and wipe away every tear. Thanks be to God!
Boaz was the kinsman redeemer for Ruth; he rescued and redeemed her life. But Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer for all of us. When I read Ruth’s story, I am filled with a blushing joy for her. Her suffering ended like all fairytales end—with a wedding.
And in Jesus, Ruth’s story is my own. All my suffering, my deflated Christmas mornings, and my deep loneliness are all leading to the end of my very real fairytale—the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And that Christmas morning—as the completion of the first—will be everything I’ve ever dreamed of. At the marriage supper of the Lamb, we will sit with our Kinsman Redeemer, and there our hearts will be truly merry.