The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Change and loss are a part of everyday life. Some are less significant: We need to find a new gas station because the one we regularly use closed. Others are earth-shaking: a loved one's death, divorce, job loss.

Often we resist change. Yet it's a constant in our lives. Can we see loss and change as God's invitation to grow in grace and faith?

A look at the biblical story of Ruth gives us some clues.  In another article, we offer a chapter from Joan Chittister's The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman's Life with an invitation for you to let change be transformative.

And Faye Codding shares the story of her journey through multiple life-changing events and speaks of the one unchangeable: God's love.

First, recall the story of Ruth:

"In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man [Elimelech] of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife [Naomi] and two sons [Mahlon and Chilion]. ... But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about 10 years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab. ... But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go back each of you to your mother's house.' ... Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her" (Ruth 1:1-14).

The story is rich with change. Read the rest of the biblical account to learn how Ruth follows her mother-in-law to Naomi's homeland, Bethlehem, where they fend for themselves in a world where women didn't live alone. The story ends with Ruth marrying Boaz and bearing a son, Obed, who became the father of Jesse, the father of David, who became Israel's king and the ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth.


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February issue


Embracing diversity