Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem of Judah. The town seems excited, but not Naomi. She gives us a peak into an experience of grief (Ruth 1:19-22). She is evidently bitter. How are we to understand what she says? How well-informed is her theology? What are we to learn?
My title for this message is borrowed from C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed. The indefinite article “a” is intentional. No two experiences of grief are alike, but there are some commonalities that may be helpful to us when either we or those we know experience grief. Naomi’s grief is center stage in this passage and so we are going to explore both her grief and that of two theologians who experienced grief as well.
The common threads between these accounts of grief are instructive for us. They will help equip us for the day when we need to mourn with those who mourn, or the day when we just need to mourn. And even reliable Ruth, silent though she is, once again gives us a snapshot of the church.