Lenten Devotional (26) & Eastern Orthodoxy
The Book of Ruth is saturated with symbols. Bethlehem is a picture of the Church, and Moab is a picture of the world. When Elimelech leaves Bethlehem–the house of bread–and goes to Moab, he leaves the Lord God and the covenant promises.
“So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.”
Bethlehem is the land where God’s name dwells. No matter how difficult it may be, there is no refuge apart from God’s presence. In the Old Covenant, God chose to dwell in particular places. To leave such places, no matter how dire the problems, is to leave God himself.
God is never divorced from the people he redeems and the house he saves. In fact, he invites us to stay in Bethlehem (the house of bread), where goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.
Prayer: O great God, we too often seek the houses of sin instead of the house of bread. We threaten to leave your presence at the first sign of discomfort. Do not let us run to false houses in times of trial, but to sit at your right hand forevermore, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
*Rafe Heydel-Mankoo offers a stunning critique of the call for reparations in England. Cambridge’s students are at a loss amid a flood of facts. He also argues, by implication, that colonialism has provided great prosperity. Notably, his observation at the end that the British ended some of the most barbaric practices known to men offers a stark contrast to the woke ideologies that act in moral outrage without any data to defend their claims. These are 12 worthy minutes! I commend it to you.
On a similar note, I also encourage you to watch this disturbing video of a father preserving his family by keeping calm against the racial attacks of a disturbed man. Some may criticize this father for being passive, but I applaud him for using silence as a protecting virtue. The principle of not answering a fool is meant for moments such as these (Prov. 26:4). He had everything to lose by aggression, but he chose his wife and child over the potential damage of responding. The racist bully was looking for a reason to use physical violence, and the man did not give him one.
**My review of the Princess and the Goblin stirred me to look more carefully as I work my way through The Princess and Curdie especially pondering the creational themes in MacDonald’s fiction. The first chapter did not disappoint as MacDonald offers an autobiography of mountains. Curdie and his father are viewed as the harvesters of mountain glory. This line was quite beautiful:
Curdie and his father were of these: their business was to bring to light hidden things; they sought silver in the rock and found it, and carried it out.
Christians harvest the deep things of God and reveal them to the nations as gifts (Deut. 29:29).
***Here is a little clip that the American Moment spliced. I discuss the Fauci priesthood during COVID.
****I was only a kid back in 2009, but my interview with Rev. Steven Wedgeworth on Eastern Orthodoxy has picked up a lot of steam recently. So, here is the three-part interview for free on wordmp3.com.