Joy in Serving Those Who Grieve

When a loved one is lost, there is often an irreplaceable hole left in the lives of those left behind. That hole can be physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial. The Bible commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 19:19).

Jesus taught us to serve and give to those in need in the Parable of The Final Judgment, told about in Matthew 25:31-46. In this parable, Jesus tells how our service to others in need is also service to Him. This service is a show of Christ living in us and through us. It is a sign of His righteousness.

The Book of Ruth also speaks of our service and support of the bereaved. In the first chapter of the story, Naomi has lost her husband to death. Ten years later, her two grown sons die, leaving Naomi and her two daughters-in-law to grieve. Rather than leave her mother-in-law, Ruth decides to stay with Naomi and care for her.

As the story progresses, we meet Boaz, a distant relative, who decides to become Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. The kinsman redeemer in Old Testament days, was to redeem or buy back the obligations of the deceased family member. It was a very big responsibility. We don’t find many kinsman redeemers in our day.

Yet, Jesus redeemed us by his shed blood on the cross, and He cares for us daily by meeting our every need. I love the beautiful picture of His care painted in Isaiah 40:11, “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”

We are to follow this example and care for the bereaved, just as Ruth cared for Naomi, and as Boaz cared for both of them. And, we can ask God to guide us through prayer.

May you find joy in following Christ's example of service to others this week.


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