Ruth 1 – 4
The story of Ruth begins with Elimelech and Naomi, and their two sons, who moved to Moab because of famine in the land of Israel. Moab was a close neighbor to Judah, where the city of Bethlehem was located. The two sons married Moabite women. Unfortunately, Elimelech and both of his sons died. This left Naomi and her two Moabite daughters-in-law without anyone to care for them.
Women in the society of Bible times who did not have husbands, fathers or sons to care for them were destitute. They had little opportunity to earn a living and care for themselves. Naomi heard that the famine of Israel was over and so she decided to return home, perhaps in the hope that a relative would care for her. Both of Naomi’s daughters-in-law decided to go with her in the beginning, although there was no special custom or requirement for them to do so. Orpah and Ruth had the choice of returning to the protection and care of their families—a much easier choice.
Naomi told them they need not come with her since she had nothing to offer them. Naomi finally convinced Orpah to return to her own family, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi because of her love for the older women. Ruth chose to live with Naomi in one of the most famous speeches of the Bible. But in an unusual twist, she also chose to never leave Naomi, and even to make Naomi’s God her God. For Ruth to give up her homeland and all her customs to live an uncertain life in a strange land demonstrated Ruth’s great love for her mother-in-law.
Together Naomi and Ruth traveled to Israel. Ruth did the gleaning from the fields to support Naomi and herself. Ruth remained faithful in her love for Naomi.
Ruth went beyond obligation when she chose to go with Naomi. As Christians, we are often asked to “go the second mile” and to show love beyond that which others show. After all that is what separates Christians from other persons. Children are naturally very loving and giving. They are often willing to do anything that will make the other person happy. Encourage their loving and giving natures.
So, if a person truly follows the example that Jesus set for us to follow, there are certain traits that will be obvious: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In today’s lesson the children will talk about love.
The story will be Let me Go with You, and some of the activities will be, Stuck Like Glue, May I Go With You and we will be making Love Shakers. We will also be making Love Lights
If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples
John 13:35, Good News Bible