• Mike Dominick


The story of Ruth in the book of the Bible that bears her name is a beautiful and grace-filled story.

Ruth's background is far from Israel's God. She is a Moabite and knows only the gods of her culture. Elimelech and Naomi flee to Moab with their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, to escape severe famine in Israel. Ruth marries one of their sons. She learns to love Naomi and her God. Elimelech dies, and then so do Mahlon and Kilion. Naomi and Ruth are left as widows.

Naomi decides to return to Israel after ten years in Moab, and urges her two daughters-in-law to return to their birth families to be supported as widows in Moab. But Ruth loves Naomi and her God. So she refuses to remain in Moab and sojourns to Israel with Naomi.

Ruth meets and marries Boaz, a close relative of Elimelech's and second in line to be Kinsman-Redeemer for Naomi and Ruth. The Kinsman-Redeemer is the closest relative who is expected to marry a widow who has no son to carry on the name and line of her deceased husband, and has the right to purchase and redeem any property owned by the family. When the closest Kinsman-Redeemer chooses not to fulfill his responsibility to marry Ruth, Boaz exercises his right and responsibility as Kinsman-Redeemer, and marries her.

Boaz and Ruth have a son, Obed. Obed grows up, marries and has a son, Jesse. One of Jesse's sons is David, who becomes Israel's greatest king. The Moabite widow becomes the great-grandmother of King David, and is grafted into the ancestral line of Jesus, the Messiah!

No matter where we come from, God can give us a future that is beyond expectation.

My legacy is working class. My father and both my grandfathers worked in factories. No one in my family pursued education beyond high school. I was the first in my family to get a college degree, and later a Master's degree. My birth family were nominal Lutherans on my dad's side, and there was no church background on my mom's side. But I met Jesus when I was 15 years old, and He called me to be a Pastor. The trajectory of my life changed, and so did the legacy I am leaving to my children.

Both of my children have college degrees, and both of them are committed, practicing followers of Jesus Christ. This legacy is now being passed on to five Ukrainian-born grandchildren adopted by our son and daughter-in-law. Their mom and dad, their grandparents and their aunt and uncle (our daughter and son-in-law) all live as examples of faith. They are learning to love Jesus, and will extend this legacy for another generation as God gives grace.

I resonate with the Casting Crowns song, Only Jesus.

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself

Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else

Make a name the world remembers

But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams

I got lost in the light but it was up to me

To make a name the world remembers

But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don't want to leave a legacy

I don't care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I, I've only got one life to live

I'll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won

Will crumble into dust when it's said and done

'Cause all that really matters

Did I live the truth to the ones I love

Was my life the proof that there is only One

Whose name will last forever

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name to remember

The one legacy I want to leave is that people I have served as their Pastor and family members who know me as Dad and Grandpa remember Jesus. Jesus is the only name to remember.

I strive to live up to the legacy God is building through Shirley's and my faith and faithfulness. But it's not me. It's Jesus. Just Jesus.

How about you?

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