Beautiful Day

Thursday, December 24, 2015

On Christmas, Ruth, and Happy Endings

I think I finally get it!  Why I am drawn to "happily ever after" stories and fairy tale endings.  Why beauty is a very real attraction to my heart.  I suspect...I know I am not alone.  I witness it in my own children's love for the same fairytales, whether of the "Cinderella," "Frozen," or "Tangled" variety, or the epic stories of faith, bravery, and courage existent in Narnia or "The Lord of the Rings."  I see it all around me, in both its broken, and its redeemed forms.

And isn't Christmas the embodiment of hopes, dreams, and beauty?  It seems to draw out and make apparent all that we seem to long for.  Which also means it is often a very difficult and dark time of year for many in facing their own disappointments, hurts, and shattered dreams.  It just didn't turn out like I expected.

"But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
~Hebrews 11:10, NKJV

Last night I said to my Warrior that Christmas just seemed to breeze by faster than ever this year.  That always makes me sad, because it means it's coming to an end.  And I didn't get to enjoy it nearly as much as I wanted to!  I had so many hopes to just rest in it and enjoy it and soak it all in.  But they didn't come to fruition so well.

I've been reading through these devotionals this year, and I have loved them!  It's been a brief survey through the Bible of how Jesus is the fulfillment of all stories we know and love in His Word.  And there is one in particular that ministered deeply to me.  "Jesus is the True and Better Boaz."

Perhaps it is partially due to my study of Ruth this year, which is one of the best I've ever undertaken.  And I'm sure a large part of its appeal has also been the life experiences of this year.  Whatever the reason, I find it so compelling!  I think here is the ultimate "happily ever after story" of the Old Testament.

Ruth lived in a world of brokenness.  She was a foreigner, even of the despised country of Moab.  And she was alone after the death of her husband.  She chose to forsake her own country's idols and her extended family to follow God and to care for Naomi, as they returned to Bethlehem.  In the midst of walking a faithful, yet certainly lonely, life, Boaz finds her.  He gave her a home and a place to belong.  He brought her intimacy and companionship.  He brought relief and help to her task of caring for her mother-in-law and just plain putting food on the table.  He served out his role as a kinsman-redeemer.  In short, you could very well say that Ruth's wedding to Boaz was the stuff of dreams and fairytale endings for her.

Jesus is the True and Better Boaz--the One who gives us a home and a place.  The One who brings us into the most intimate relationship we can ever know.  The One who brings relief to our weary hearts.  The Kinsman-Redeemer for us all.  All of this world's disappointments, difficulties, loneliness, and celebrations that didn't turn out the way we hoped or expected are leading to the Great Feast--the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels' voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine

Today I am hoping to dwell on these thoughts.  Christmas may not be all I hoped or dreamed for this year.  But it will be good!  I am surrounded by those I love.  I have much to be thankful for.  And above all, I have the gift of a Redeemer to celebrate!

And I am quite certain there will come a day when dreams come true.

Here's a little Christmas gift from me to you......a song that I've really appreciated this year.  Merry Christmas!

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