So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
— Ruth 1:22
Ruth and Naomi returned at the time of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22). Barley in the Bible signifies resurrection. The church life is a life in resurrection. This means that when there seems to be no way to go on, we are still able to rise up and go on. Praise the Lord that there is a field where we can freely labor, and the first grain we reap in this field is barley.
Only in the Lord’s field is there a way for everyone to be blessed and to grow. This is the true expression of the Body of Christ. The experience of living closely together brings us into resurrection. If this were some other field, we could simply leave this place when we became offended by someone. Sometimes we may feel that a fellow laborer is just too much, but we realize that there is no other place to go. By remaining in this field, we experience resurrection.
In this field, we often feel our Boaz is too much, His young men are too much, and, in fact, the whole thing is too much. Yet we survive, because this is the field where resurrection is found. Sometimes I see the brothers debating and arguing, yet they continue to love one another and cover one another’s weaknesses. What makes the church life so precious? The church life has the Lord, the church life has many servants committed to serving together, and this environment results in the experience of resurrection.
Adapted from Ruth: Growth Unto Maturity, pages 36-37.
Tomorrow: “Learning to Labor”