“Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my god.” Ruth 1:16
As we explore the story of Ruth, we will define words like “family” and “loyalty,” we will discuss ways to love and care for others, and we will be reminded to love all people, even those who are different than us.
The beginning of the story finds Ruth recently widowed. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, plans to return to Bethlehem, the home of her people, and Ruth cannot imagine leaving Naomi’s side. So the women journey together, with Ruth promising Naomi to go where she goes, to live where she lives, and to embrace Naomi’s people and God as her own. When they reach Bethlehem, Ruth works long hours in the fields gleaning for food, meaning that she had to pick up crops that were dropped during the harvest. The work is long and laborious, but Ruth is determined to take care of Naomi. Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband, demonstrates his kindness by allowing Ruth to glean in his fields even though she is a foreigner. He allows her to eat and drink with his workers, he promises to keep her safe as she works, and at the end of each day, he gives her extra grain to take home to Naomi. By the end of the story, Ruth and Boaz are married and have a son, Obed, which brings Naomi much joy and happiness.
The book of Ruth is often described as a love story. Certainly it is a love story between Ruth and Boaz, but it is also a love story of the many people who love and care for each other. And, perhaps most of all, it is a love story about God. Through this story, God demonstrates his great love for all people, regardless of where we live. We see that God wants us to love and care for one another, and to live our lives in service to others.
Our lessons and activities for this session find us “gleaning,” baking with barley, and enjoying science experiments that challenge us to “stick together.” We’ll use drawings and words to write our own versions of the Bible verse, and we’ll create friendship bracelets to remind us that we are all friends, regardless of our differences.
The kids in Christ’s Carousel will spend most of December preparing for our Mountain View Sings celebration on December 15. We’ll celebrate the season with special activities and a movie on December 22.
Our next session of Christ’s Carousel begins January 12 when we will be exploring the Parable of the Talents. Let me know how you can be a part of Christ’s Carousel!