On Mondays through the summer, I will be running a series of devotionals based on the stained glass windows at Covenant-First Presbyterian. These devotionals originally ran in the Covenant Courier newsletter, and we are editing them for re-issue as a devotional later this summer. All the photos are by our member, nature photographer Jerry Fritsch. We invite you to come by the sanctuary and see the windows in person.
“You may be the only Bible that somebody ever reads,” goes the old country song. The lyric gives us a pithy and memorable reminder that even when our lips our silent, our deeds shout from the rooftops. We have all heard the well worn maxim “93% of communication is nonverbal.” That adage is always quoted to remind us to pay close attention to others’ facial expression and emotional tone when we listen. What if we used it as a reminder to pay close attention to the way our actions communicate the faith we profess?
The story of Ruth is a living illustration of Jesus’ exhortation “… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). The stained glass window from our sanctuary’s north wall depicts Ruth professing her commitment to care for Naomi, even though it will make her a penniless beggar. When they are back in Israel, Ruth selflessly provides for her mother-in-law. It is her actions that draw the attention of Boaz. “I’ve been told about what you have done…” he says.
Ruth’s actions didn’t arise from a desire to be recognized or an expectation that she and Naomi would have all their dreams come true. Rather, they rose out of Ruth’s simple determination to love Naomi and to love the Lord. The text on the window gives just the first part of Ruth’s commitment: “Entreat me not to leave thee…” but the verse continues: “Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16).
When we see this window, may we be reminded that God is graciously growing within us a love that goes and acts. May we remember that God doesn’t love us because we go and act, but rather he sends us to go and act because he loves us and delights in giving us a place in the outworking of His kingdom. Finally, may we remember that when we, like Ruth, go and act upon our faith, that people take notice, and God receives glory.
Soli Deo Gloria
If you found value in this post, please share it with your friends, because it might bless them, and it’ll certainly encourage me. Get encouragement in your inbox by clicking here to sign up for the Horizons of the Possible monthly e-newsletter. You’ll receive a monthly digest of the best posts from the blog and the best photos from Instagram, as well as information about upcoming publications.