Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There is a Light that Shines in Darkness

Over the last few years I have often found myself awake at night (or at least very early in the morning) and I am thankful for my ipod. I pop in my earbuds and listen to music for a while. Sometimes I fall back asleep but other times, like this morning, I just lie there and listen for a while. I put the ipod on shuffle and enjoy the random set of music, all of which I like.

This morning one of the songs that popped up was Phil Keaggy's "All There is to Know" from his album Crimson and Blue. The emotional and lyrical centerpoint of that song for me is the line "There is a light that shines in darkness." Reflecting on that line this morning made me think about the book of Judges and how that book shows how the people of Israel drifted away from God. In that book we have a series of events all of which start with Israel forgetting about God and ending with a deliverer, a "judge," rescuing them from their bondage only to find themselves drifting away again. And things get worse and worse – by the end of the book we have two stories that show that even the Levites, the priestly tribe, had forgotten the way that God wanted them to live.

As that book ends things are in pretty bad shape. But then we read the little book called Ruth, a book in which we see that there is a light that shines in darkness and that light shines from Bethlehem. There is still at least one person, Boaz, who is honorable and who will redeem Ruth, not because of anything that she has done, but because of who she is. I like that book. I like thinking about what it might have been like between Ruth and Boaz. I find myself wondering what there was about Ruth that made Boaz notice her. I find myself wondering why God chose to bring in an outsider, Ruth from Moab, to continue the line of Judah which would become the line of Christ. The book of Ruth reminds me that even if things look grim God will not forsake us – not because of what we have done but because we are His people. These are the thoughts I had because I used my iPod this morning.

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