- It was in Bethlehem that Judah’s tribe settled (See Advent I: Tamar.)
- It was to Bethlehem that Naomi returned with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, the Moabite, bringing reconciliation to two families separated for generations.
- It was in Bethlehem that Ruth and Boaz (a descendant of Rahab - see Advent II) married and had a son, Obed.
- It was in Bethlehem that Obed raised a family, even a grandson who would be king (and who would marry Bathsheba whom we will meet next week.)
- It was to Bethlehem that Joseph traveled with his very pregnant wife, Mary.
- It was in Bethlehem that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born
- It was in the fields of Bethlehem that angels appeared to announce Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.
Remember Sister Ruth and her courage and strength, her valor and faithfulness to “the tie that binds” all human hearts in love over the ancient hurts that separate us. And, say a prayer for Sister Naomi whose generous heart took in her daughter-in-law even though she had many reasons that mitigated against that act of sacrificial love.
Remember and tell the story to your children that your children's children from generation to generation may know that the glory of God is the human person fully alive.
Holy God, as we begin to turn our eyes toward Bethlehem, help us to turn away from ancient fears and follow the light of Love which leads to hope and reconciliation. Give us the faithfulness and strength of Ruth to take the risks of love that we may become Children of Light and Hope and Love.