Above and Beyond

Ruth 2:15-16

 

No, this devotion isn’t about the latest super hero movie, my personal eating habits, or even akin to some giant bath-mat store; it’s a different type of above and beyond.

It is about doing more than the bare minimum. All around us are minimum requirements, the barest of the bare in expectations. The ‘if you can’t even do this right, you’re fired’, type of expectations.

I find in our current culture many people do their dead-level best not to go above the bare minimum.

I suppose we could chalk it up to laziness, entitlement or any other of our social ills but the result is the same – the bare minimum to get by.

In our passage, after Ruth expresses her gratitude for Boaz’s kindness she gets back to work. What he does next is very interesting.

“And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:

And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.” Ruth 2:15-16

The law stated that he leave the corners for gleaners but he told the servants to allow her to glean among the rows, and for them to even drop some so that she could glean without having to work for it.

This is funny to me. We have all seen people ‘do something by accident’, but their intent was clear. When I was a young fella, the grade 3 girls would chase down and try and kiss us grade 1 boys. My friends always wondered how I could be one of the fasted kids on the playground then somehow lose my speed all of a sudden. I would also happen to trip and fall a lot. “Oops, I fell again, rats!”

I imagine that the scene in Bethlehem was somewhat like this. AS the servants were carrying out the harvested barley, one of them would loudly say, “oops, I dropped some…” then keep on walking.

This shows that Boaz, both he himself and by telling his servants this command went above and beyond the bare requirements of the law.

Do you know who else this mirrors? Jesus Christ.

The law said that I was guilty. Jesus said that ‘’I’ll be guilty for Ryan’’.

Friends, do we live with this act of grace daily? Or we hide it under our selfishness?

Do we go above and beyond what is minimally required?

Do we put a little extra effort in when it comes to our church? Our family? Our neighbours? People we don’t even like?

Or do we do just what it takes to scrape by?

Let’s go above and beyond. Jesus did.