"Spaces become places when they are inhabited with stories."--Philip Sheldrake. Do you have any sacred places in your life? Places where you look back on as holy ground where God met you?
In the story in Ruth, the sacred place for Boaz and Ruth was in the field where they met. Boaz heard what Ruth had done and saw her at work in his fields. That made an impression on him and caused Boaz to choose redemption for Ruth as her kinsman-redeemer. Have you ever had an experience you look back on as a defining moment that pressed you to act in some way? What was it, and how did it make a difference in your life?
What cost is involved for the kinsman-redeemer who follows each of these laws? If a woman marries the kinsman, how much of her property goes to him? How much to her son? How might this account for the nameless guardian-redeemers reluctance to marry Ruth? What does it say about Boaz that he is willing to take on all the expenses and duties, when he will get nothing tangible in return?
- When have you faced great physical, emotional, or spiritual need? How did God provide for you? How is your story like Naomi's and Ruth's story of how God cares and redeems?
- What can you and your group do to help neglected, unloved "Moabites" feel welcomed and cared for by your community?