After the widowed Ruth pledged her loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi, the two together made the long trip to Bethlehem.
Once there, Ruth worked to help care for Naomi by each day going and picking up the leftover scraps of wheat being harvested on the farms of Naomi’s kinsman Boaz. This was permissible under the laws of Moses, in which God ordered that the scraps from a harvest be left for those less fortunate.
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:9,10
Through her life spent in service to another, she attracted the attention of Boaz, who would later take her as his wife. Through Ruth’s lineage, Jesus himself came into the world.
The gospel of Jesus was predicated on this concept of service to others, to the point that Jesus made a point of serving his disciples. And of course the life and death of Jesus was in service to all who would ever live so that they might have a chance to live eternally.
If we are truly keeping the gospel, it isn’t enough to believe. It isn’t enough to preach the gospel to others. We must also live our lives in service to others.
Though it isn’t necessary to devote our lives to one person like Ruth did, we must, whenever possible, do everything in our power to make the lives of others better. That is what love is. It is about more than speaking with our mouths. It is about it defining the way we live our lives in relation to the people around us.