Returning Home: An Old Testament Christmas Story
by Ron Sheveland
Kindle Edition: 95 pages
When we think of the little town of Bethlehem, it is natural to focus on the birth of the Lord Jesus. But the Old Testament gives another story about the town—the book of Ruth. These two accounts are so intimately tied together, that it’s fair to think of Ruth as the prequel to the Christmas story. In the sweep of redemptive history, the book of Ruth paves the way for the coming Christ child and contains a number of picturesque types of the Redeemer. The parallels between the two Bethlehem accounts are astounding.
But even on its own, Ruth is a really good read. Few stories match its grandeur and evocative power. The chronicle contains suspense, love and deep emotions. It begins with famine and funerals, draws us into the tension of real-life crises, intrigues us with plot twists, and then provides a satisfying, joyous conclusion.
Though the book of Ruth is a wonderful love story, it is far more than that. It is a gripping biography of a woman who has not just lost her husband, sons and livelihood but also much of her faith, hope and joy. God’s gentle loving-kindness is evident as He providentially works through people and circumstances to bring about a revival of vitality and fullness. Naomi’s true return home happens well after her return to Bethlehem.
In the same way that the book of Ruth prepared the way for the coming Christmas story, it can also prepare you for the coming Christmas season. It might be that you are not emotionally or spiritually ready for Christmas this year. Your inner wounds may make it difficult for you to visualize having the vaunted “Merry” Christmas. To whatever extent that might be the case, you will really want to enter into this captivating narrative.
Dr. Ron Sheveland combined his skills as a novelist and professor to produce an inspirational book that blends vivid story-telling with biblical accuracy. "Returning Home" belongs on your book shelf and will also make a wonderful Christmas present for you to share with others.
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