Ernest Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises, follows a troupe of characters through Spain in 1920s Europe who represented what became known as “the lost generation.”
The “lost generation” describes those who came of age during the horrors of WWI, a generation usually identified with those born between 1883 and 1900.
Gertrude Stein coined the name, but Hemmingway popularized it in his novel, which takes its title from a passage in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Although life for the lost generation had been dark and disorienting, Hemmingway believed that there was hope for them, nonetheless. Even as the sun sets for a season, the sun also rises.
This is where we have been in the story of Ruth and her mother in law, Naomi.
Dark clouds of grief and disillusionment have surrounded Naomi. She has experienced tragedy in her marriage with the death of her husband and as a mother with the death of her two sons. When she moved away to Moab 10 years ago, she was full. Now, she has come back home empty.
If there had been a poster-child for the lost generation in 1100 B.C., it would have been Naomi.
But as we read, the author wants us to feel hope rising. Naomi and Ruth have arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. God is at work. His plan is unfolding. The light of grace is just about to break through the clouds of despair.
Naomi and Ruth are about to learn that the sun not only sets, the sun also rises, which is the title of today’s message.
What I want you to know is that God will not leave us in the darkness.
This is what we see in Ruth 2:1-13