6. Ruth and Boaz

by Nicholas Mynheer

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Commentary by the artist

Nicholas Mynheer writes:

This is a picture of Love – the love of Boaz for Ruth…but it is also an image of God’s love for his people.

Set in a vast open landscape a golden wheat field is in the process of being harvested. Ruth and Boaz are shaded by a single tree.

It could as easily be The Annunciation with Boaz, like Gabriel, speaking to Mary. Ruth shares with Mary before her great faith and trust in God. Ruth says,

‘entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy od my God.’ Ruth 1:16

Vicar’s reflections

Andrew Bunch writes:

Conventions and trying to be good have a strong influence on the way we see and interpret the events that happen all around us. But it appears that God is not so constrained by concepts that we try to place upon him and the way we think he wants us to behave. The demands of love can frequently invite us to test conventions and experience what are the more risky sides of living in this world. The painting of “Ruth and Boaz” by Nick Mynheer reminds us of the beautiful story of Ruth caring for her mother-in-law, Naomi, as she returns to Bethlehem following her disastrous time in the land of Moab. Ruth took a risk leaving her home culture behind and going to a foreign land where she could easily have been ostracised. But she took the risk. She took a risk gleaning in the fields among the male reapers at harvest time. But she took the greatest risk lying down beside the drunken Boaz after the harvest feast. She could have been despised, taken for granted, reduced to living in the gutter, but the story that unfolds is one of glorious love. Choosing to live in harmony with the love of God challenges conventions and changes lives.

(Ruth 3:6-13)