REBUILDING A DAMAGED LEGACY –based on Ruth 1:8-18, 4:2-6, 13-17
A legacy is defined usually in two ways–how impactful one person’s life has been, and the choices that were made. We all want to have a good legacy, for people to look back at our life and see all of the good in our years. My great-grandmother, Abuela Mary, had a significant legacy. She was the first one of her family to come to know Jesus. Even after the tragic death of her husband, she raised her two children in the ways of the LORD. She even had the rare spiritual gift of prophecy. She was the first one who said I would be a preacher. I am here today, and each of you at Beaver Creek is blessed today because of the direct impact she had in my life. You are a part of her legacy.
No one wants to be defined by a bad legacy. When we think of OJ Simpson, do we see his stellar football career, both from USC and the Buffalo Bills, or do we remember the Ford Bronco and the bloody gloves? A good legacy can change to a bad one by our choices and circumstances that happen to us. But can a bad legacy change to a good one? What if a person had not shared Jesus with my great-grandmother? Would I be here today?
If anyone in the Bible had a bad legacy, it was Naomi. She and her husband Elimelech left Bethelem during a famine and went to Moab. Moab was an enemy to Israel. What was originally supposed to be a temporary trip turned into ten years. Naomi’s sons married Moabite women, which was a violation of the Law. Then, both her husband and her sons passed away. There were provisions of covering for widows, but it required direct family members. But in this case, they all passed away. Naomi was left with no covering, and she had no legal claim to property or rights. She was without a covering and viewed herself as deeply cursed. She saw herself as completely hopeless, accursed by God, and it was all God’s fault! Everyone was against her, and she just wanted to crawl into a hole and die!
But how did Naomi go from this poor, damaged legacy to a redeemed one? How was her whole legacy rebuilt? It was rebuilt through Ruth! Ruth:
1) Refused to leave Naomi’s side. Even though she was encouraged to go back home, Ruth made the determination that she would never leave her side. She left her family, her country, her people, and went with Naomi, adopting God as her God. She did so knowing she would face ridicule and exclusion, being a Moabite woman. But she did so because of her deep love for Naomi!
2) Was devoted to Naomi’s welfare. She was willing to do a task that was very difficult–glean in a field–simply so that Naomi could eat. She worked all day and all night. It was also fraught with risk–if she went to a field where the owner rejected her, then it was all for nothing. But she was willing to serve so that Naomi at least could have her basic needs met. She carried Naomi’s burden.
3) She sought out a redeemer for Naomi. Once she learned that Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer, she was willing to do what it took to acquire that redemption. She waited at the threshing floor and uncovered Boaz’s feet. Although this is rather obscure, it was extremely risky–what if someone discovered a woman at the threshing floor? What if he rejected her? She became vulnerable and at the mercy of Boaz. But Boaz was willing to redeem, paid the price, and showed deep mercy and grace. After all, Boaz’s mother, Rahab, understood the power of redemption!
4) She provided a new legacy! Through Boaz and Ruth, Naomi now had a grandson, Obed, who would carry on her family name! Even more, Obed’s grandson would become King of Israel, King David!
Naomi went from complete despondency, with a destroyed legacy, to complete joy! Her shame was lifted, and she was reborn! Likewise, we too can experience a rebirth! We don’t have to live in our damaged legacy. Why? For Jesus:
1) Refused to leave our side. He became like one of us, and promised to never leave us or forsake us!
2) Is devoted to our welfare. He took our sin upon himself, carrying our burdens, to bring us reconciliation. And he is at the right hand of God, making intercession on our behalf and preparing a place for us in heaven!
3) Is our Redeemer. He paid the price for our sin in his own life and bought us. He has laid claim to us, calling us a child of God! And because he paid in full, there is no claim that can be levied against us. Our sin is in the past!
4) Has given us a new legacy! We are a new creation. The old is gone. And we have a promise of eternal life. We are not defined by our past, but our future through Jesus!
Just as Ruth helped rebuild Naomi’s damaged legacy, so too Christ can rebuild ours. Maybe we feel like Naomi. Good news–Jesus will restore you! Maybe you know of a Naomi that has a horrible reputation. Maybe we can be like Ruth, and bring her to the source of redemption?
Questions for reflection
1) Who in your life has been like Ruth? How have they helped you along?
2) Are there any areas in your life that you find yourself like Naomi?
3) What is your personal story of redemption?
4) How have you seen new life in Jesus?
Pastor Ryan will continue the Rebuilding Series with the sermon titled, “Rebuilding A Defeated People,” based on Nehemiah 8. Israel returned from exile to a city and wall in ruin. How did they rebuild from the greatest humiliation in their lives? And how can we rebuild from the ashes of defeat?
Daily Bible Readings for May 12 – 18
May 12: 1 Samuel 3 How did God restore the legacy of the judges?
May 13: Psalm 51 How did God bring restoration to David?
May 14: John 21:15-19 How did Jesus restore Peter’s damaged legacy?
May 15: Acts 22:1-21 How did Jesus restore Paul’s damaged legacy?
May 16: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 How did Jesus restore our damaged legacy?
May 17: Genesis 15 How did God encourage Abraham in the midst of his defeat?
May 18: Joshua 7 What lesson did Israel need to learn from their defeat?
May 17–Jay Hensley
Leadership Team & Reopening
Last week, Governor Northam announced that in phase 1, churches can reopen. We will not officially know until Wednesday, but it appears that phase 1 will begin on Friday, May 15. For churches, the guidance was solely given at 50% capacity.
Other guidances have been in circulation, including guidance from the CDC which was removed on Thursday, and guidance from our District. The final recommendation will be made from the District on Friday, after the District Leadership Team meeting. But the District has published recommended guidelines for safety, which was made public on Monday.
Our Leadership Team will be meeting today at 7 pm. The majority of the meeting will be discussing our reopening plan. Please pray for all involved! All of us want to make sure that we have the best interest of Beaver Creek at heart as we make decisions. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and clarity.
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. May is covered for children’s story except May 24. If you are willing to do either, please contact Alice Over or Tami Stine.
Stump the Pastor
On Friday night, seven youth and children participated in Stump the Pastor. All of the kids and youth did an outstanding job of choosing verses that were tricky, and each won ice cream! Great job kids and youth!
Bible Trivia For Adults: Thank all of you who participated! The grand champion with a nearly perfect score was Lynne Lent! Heather Cooper also had the same score, but Lynne was first submitted and the champion!
Note: Even pastors can be corrected! I asked a question on how many sons did Abraham have. The two most well known are Ishmael and Isaac, but after Sarah died, he married again and had six more children. Heather was the one who caught it!
There will be a Zoom Bible Study on the Parables of Jesus on Wednesday at 7pm. The link is available from Pastor Ryan. If you have not yet participated in the Bible study and would like to see what it is all about, a recording of the study is posted on our church website. This will also enable you to “catch up” if you miss a week.
Before church closed for COVID, we had begun to announce a baptism and membership class (for transfer of membership). So for we have two that have expressed interest. If you are interested in either, or even if you recently became a member without the class and would like more of what it means to be a member of Beaver Creek, please let Pastor Ryan or Tess know you would like to take the class. Once there is enough interest, more specifics will be shared at that time.
Thank you all again for your generosity. Between the first Sunday offering, the hike-a-thon pledges, and the pour the Dunkard pledges, we have raised over $670 dollars for Brethren Woods! The video of me being soaked with a bucket of ice water in on our website!
There will be a Facebook live auction to benefit camp in the coming days. If you would like to donate something to the camp auction, please let the office know ASAP! The auction date will be shared as soon as we have it.
The camp does not know what summer camp will look like as of yet. Phase 1 of the governor’s recommendations says no overnight camps. Pray for discernment as they make a decision in the coming days.
Once COVID restrictions continue to loosen, the Outreach Team had approved to allow Beaver Creek to be a host site for a babysitting training class for teenagers. When a teen completes the class, they would be officially certified to babysit anywhere in the commonwealth. The cost is $95. I have attached the official fact sheet from the trainer (thank you Scott McAvoy for working on this!). You can also see that fact sheet below.
Again, due to COVID, we do not yet have a date. But they want to know if there are truly enough interested teens to take the class before they commit the date. I will also be passing this along to other area Brethren churches later today. If you are interested, either let Pastor Ryan or Tess know, so we can get your teen on the list.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.
Accordius Nursing Facility–(Carolyn Wine)
Cofer Family–mourning the loss of their husband and father Chris, last weekend. He was the manager for the Clover Hill Bucks RCBL team. Denny & Diane Miller and Pat & Denise Shiflet are friends of the family.
Liz Rhodes–(health, remember Dan too)
Sandy Shomo–(health, now home)
Tom Wilfong–(health, good report)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB