Why did Ruth make a startling (crazy?) choice?

a thoughtful childHave you ever admired something in someone, causing you to wonder: What makes them tick?

I’m not talking about wonderment in a swooning sort of way — more wanting to know what it is that motivates a person. What is their driving force?

The Bible doesn’t give us many clues but Naomi must have exhibited behaviors that Ruth applauded, eliciting a, “Hey, I want to be like her” response in Ruth.

This coming Sunday kids will be in worship as we celebrate All Saints Day, a time when we commemorate the lives of those who have shown us a picture of faith. Though this is a day set-aside to remember faith-warriors who have died in the last year, we can stretch our definition of a saint to someone who is living; someone who wears their faith on their sleeve.

Naomi must have worn her faith on her sleeve.

Ruth acted on her admiration for her mother-in-law Naomi. She made a startling choice:

Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:16b,c

Time Out. Talk about…speech bubble
Ask these questions at the family dinner table. (Or wherever your family is gathered together.)

  • What could have made Ruth decide to follow Naomi’s God?
  • Who to you seems like they are close to God?
  • Have you ever thought about asking them how they got connected to God?
  • Identify people you know who seem to be “God followers.” Make a plan to ask them about their faith.
  • What is it about YOUR faith that might make other’s think: “how can I be like them?”
How are you wearing your faith on your sleeve?

a blue line


Photo credits:
A thoughtful child by Ryse Lawrence, in the Public Domain, offered at Pixabay.com.

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All Saints Day? Tell me more.

This weekend families join together in worship for a special service where we celebrate “All Saints Day.” (Which occurred on November 1st.)

What do you picture when you hear the word “saint?”
Someone who models perfection?
Who does/did no wrong?
Who is exceptionally holy and wears a halo??

I like the definition of All Saints Day, given by Gertrud Mueller Nelson in her book To Dance With God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration

All Saints Day is the celebration of those who have contributed successfully to the creation of the kingdom.

To be a saint doesn’t imply we have to be perfect!
It just means we wear our faith on our sleeve!

an old bell on a chapel In the worship service this weekend there will be a time where we remember saints who have died in the past year. As their names are read a bell is tolled.

This special time of the service is to remember — to thank God — for these saints who have shown others the Christian walk and faith.

They wore their faith on their sleeves!

 
Time Out. Talk about…A speech bubble

Prepare your children for this portion of the service by talking about remembering. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a chance to prepare ahead of time. Talking about it after the service works too!)

  • Ask your kids what they remember about your last vacation, or a special birthday, or a visit with a friend or a relative. Invoke memories of good times! Why is it good to remember these occasions?
  • How is the celebration of Communion a time to remember?
  • Share with your kids, remembering whose example helped you on your faith journey. Didn’t grow up with these sorts of mentors? Talk about who is currently helping you build your faith. (We are allowed to stretch the definition of a saint to include those who are living!)
  • Use this as an overture to talking about who are the current mentors in your child’s spiritual journey. Whom would they like to have as their advisers? (Research shows that kids are helped to succeed in life when they have multiple non-family adults in their “camp.”)
Are you wearing your faith on your sleeve?


Photo credits:
A church bell in a chapel on the Island of Corfu, Greece, from my archives.

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