Coincidence? I Think Not!

2021-10-17 – Year B – Proper 24 – The Ordinary Ways of God Stewardship Series, part 2
The Rev. Canon Christopher M. Klukas
Ruth 2; Psalm 91; Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:35-45

Happenstance

  • Story of our tire blowout in St. Mary’s, GA.
  • As Christians, we don’t believe in luck. We see the hand of God in the arrangement of circumstances.
    • Psalm 139:5 – “…hem me in…”
    • vv. 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart!”
  • At the same time, the Bible affirms that we are each free to make choices. There is, of course, a difficult tension in these two ideas, but we hold them together because the Bible holds them together.
  • In the Book of Ruth “there’s a string of ‘just-so-happens’ that would never have happened without human effort and could never have happened without God’s unseen, providential hand working in His ordinary ways.”
  • Ruth 2:3 – Ruth “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz…”
    • God doesn’t speak in this book, nor does he perform miracles, but we can see his hand at work through ordinary circumstances.

Meet Boaz

  • So who is this Boaz guy?
    • I wanted to name our big lab/shepherd dog after Boaz, but I was outvoted!
    • Boaz was a “a worthy man” (Ruth 2:1).
    • Boaz was a wealthy landowner with many people working for him.
    • He is a relative of Naomi’s, from the same clan as her husband (2:1).
  • Leviticus 19:9-10 – the practice of Gleaning
    • Care for the poor and the sojourner is close to God’s heart.
    • Leviticus:19:18 – “…love your neighbor as yourself…”
  • The generosity of Boaz goes beyond the biblical commandment.
    • Ruth 2:8-9 – Invites her to glean in his field and charges his men not to touch her. This demonstrates the fact that he was a “worthy man” (2:1).
    • Ruth 2:14 – Invites her to join his workers for the midday meal.
    • Ruth 2:15-16 – Tells his workers to leave extra for Ruth to glean.
  • Why was Boaz so generous to Ruth?
    • Boaz looks with favor upon Ruth because of the commitment she has made to Naomi. Ruth 2:11-12 – “The Lord repay you for what you have done…”
    • God sees you, even when no one else does.
    • We don’t give to get, but when we are generous and seek God’s kingdom, we know that God will take care of us. Matthew 6:33.

Naomi’s Joy

  • Ruth 2:17-18 – God’s abundant provision.
    • God saw Naomi too!
    • Remember where we left off last week. Naomi wanted to change her name to “bitter” and she couldn’t see the glimmers of hope.
    • Ruth 2:19-20a – Bitter Naomi now has hope! She can finally see God’s hand at work.
    • God has taken these two women and transformed their circumstances.
  • “If we each look closely at our personal history, we discover the same dynamic at work. With the gift of hindsight, we can see a tautly scripted drama being played out with a much larger purpose in mind. Often amid the drama, we do not know the purpose behind God’s plan. But with the gift of hindsight, we can see there are no coincidences or lucky breaks; there is only the hand and heart of God bringing you and me and our lives to a redemptive end, making our lives count for something.”

Conclusion

  • Remember Boaz’s generous midday meal with Ruth and his workers.
  • God is similarly generous to us as he faithfully provides for our needs.
    • There will be lean times in our lives as well as times of abundance but God has provided and he will provide.
  • Ruth 2:14 – The meal consisted of bread and wine
    • What does this meal remind you of?
    • The generosity of Jesus—sharing his flesh and blood with us in the Eucharist.
    • John 6:55-57 – “My flesh is true food…”
    • As you hold out your hands to receive communion today, remember God’s gracious generosity to you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16).

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top