Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Receiving Grace

Ruth 2: 8-10  Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9 Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10 Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 

Ruth was doing the right thingAs a young widow, she left her own country to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Israel and tried to start a new lifeShe obeyed all that Naomi told her to do, and she worked hard.  However, when Boaz noticed Ruth and helped her to earn a livelihood, Ruth responded by falling prostrate on the ground and asking, Why meWhat have I done to deserve your favorNot only Ruth, but other stories in the Bible demonstrate a similar way of receiving grace.  In 2 Samuel 9, King David shows kindness to Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan, by providing him with a place to live and food to eat for the rest of his life.  In verse 8 , Mephibosheth  "did obeisance and said, 'What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?'" NRSV.  In Luke 17:12-16 ten lepers begged Jesus to heal them, but only one returned to prostrate himself at Jesus feet and thank himThese examples show not only gratitude for grace, but also an undeserving attitude.  Why meWhy would a great person look upon a lowly person with kindness and respect? 

Why did God choose to love us and favor usWe have done nothing but wrong, even when we try to do right, yet He chose to save usThis may be one of the greatest mysteries of all timeWe so often go about our lives acknowledging God, but never humbly prostrating ourselves before Him and recognizing how much we do not deserve His favorRecognizing our unworthiness opens the door to receive grace.