March 29 | Ruth and Naomi & Sadness and Hope

March 25-31 is HOLY WEEKEach day this week we will add an additional passage from the New Testament that walks us through what happened the week before Jesus was crucified. 

Today’s Reading:

Read Ruth 1-2- Ruth and Naomi

Read John 18:1-14; John 19:1-6; John 19:28-30- Sadness and Hope 

Play the Opposite Game as a family.  One person calls out something and someone else has to call out the opposite of that.  (right/left; good/bad; pretty/ugly; up/down; on/off). It is hard to think that when something starts out as one thing, it could possibly turn into the opposite of that!  Imagine a cold day that turns hot.  Or a bad day that turns good? 

The Israelites definitely experienced good and bad days in the Promised Land, didn’t they?   

Elimelech and Naomi were an Israelite couple who lived in Bethlehem with their 2 sons. (Sounds like everything is good, doesn’t it?)  During a time of famine, their family moved to Moab, a land that was not inhabited by God’s Chosen People, the Israelites.  Elimelech’s choice to move to Moab was not one that showed he was following God faithfully.  To make it worse, Elimelech’s sons married women from Moab.  This was definitely against the law that God had given the Israelites.(Uh-oh, things may have turned bad as a result of bad choices!).    

BUT, God remained faithful for Elimelech’s family.  (Sounds good!) Elimelech and his two sons both died and left Naomi (the mom) and Ruth and Orpah (the wives) to take care of themselves. (Oh no, sounds bad again!)  Naomi chose to return to Bethlehem and Ruth chose to go with her, even though Ruth was from Moab and not one of God’s chosen people. (Sounds good!  They are together and they are family!).  

Ruth left her people and chose to be a part of the Israelite nation.  She told Naomi that she would stay with her, and they would only be separated by death.  Ruth chose to be an Israelite.  She chose to be a part of God’s Chosen People.  And God honored her choice by providing for her faithfully.  God took a situation that could have been bad, and he used it for His good!   

Today is a day we call “Good Friday.”  That may seem a little strange to you when you read our passage about what happened to Jesus on the Friday of Holy Week.  Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane (sounds good!) when Judas (uh-oh – remember him, this could get bad!) brought the government officials to arrest Jesus.  Jesus was arrested even though He had never done anything wrong.  (Definitely sounds bad!)  

Jesus was brought before the government officials and they and the Jewish leaders together decided that Jesus should be crucified.  (Definitely sounds bad!). (If your kids are old enough to understand, talk about what crucified means- explain that in those days, criminals would be sentenced to be killed by being nailed to a cross.) 

Why would we call this GOOD FRIDAY?   

Remember when we read Genesis 3 (go back and read it if you need a reminder), we read about how sin entered the world when Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  That choice separated all of us from God!  Remember God is perfect- He can’t be near sin.  BUT, because God loves us so much, He had a plan so that we could be together with him and not separated because of our sin.  (See- this is really good news). Sin must be punished and a payment for the sin.  This is why God sent Jesus.  (Read John 3:16.) God loved us so much he sent Jesus to be the payment for that sin.  When Jesus dies on the cross, he became the perfect sacrifice for us and made it so that we can be forgiven for our sins!  So, yes, remembering that Jesus died on the cross is a sad truth!  But the good news is, because of Jesus’ death on the cross (and his resurrection, but we haven’t gotten there yet!). we don’t have to be separated from God anymore, which is the best news ever! 


As a family, end today’s reading with a silent prayer timeEncourage each member of your family to quietly thank God for sending Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sinRemind your family that the day Jesus died would have been a very dark and sad day for the disciplesWe know how the story endsThey did not!   

March Memory Verse:

He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4

Using the daily reading prompts from George H. Guthrie’s Read the Bible for Life, here’s how to use this devotional:
  1. Bring your Bible!  Your kids need to see that everything you are reading to them or learning about comes from an actual Bible!
  2. Each day starts with a reading prompt.  Read the selection as a family.  If your kids are readers, encourage them to read along with you.
  3. After you’ve read the passage, read the short devotional thought that goes along with each passage.
  4. Prayer and application are important any time we read God’s word!  After each devotional, there is a challenge to help apply what your family has read that day.
  5. There is a reading for six days of the week.  The last reading of the week is a Gospel Conversation Prompt to help you connect the reading from the week with God’s plan for salvation.

Other Resources:

March Memory Verse

MArch memory verse song

March memory verse coloring sheet

March Fill-in the blank activity

MArch Prayer calendar