Scholars can tell by how the writer lays out the story, that he or she - I am fascinated that two out of three adults in this story are strong, brave women. Ruth is also a wonderful part of the Bible for women to read and enjoy. by firstname.lastname@example.org | Sep 30, 2017 | Articles | 0 comments. The Reverend Charles Hoffacker. When I came back out, I couldn’t quite see what was a path and what was the field, so I walked back to where some people seemed to be hanging out. Palm geography (I made up the phrase) is part of my Michigan heritage. Welcoming the stranger has always been and will continue to be the spiritual home of people seeking to live meaningful lives in unholy times. Most people in my hometown are conservative, but I also know that once they know you, they are hugely generous and respectful. Our text today is a family story. Ruth 3 shows us how God works through our choices to accomplish his will for our lives. Chocolate is sometimes an … (Deut 23:3). We don’t know: they, like Ruth, may end up being more to us than seven sons. b. Ruth chose to go with Naomi. - of a new relationship? Sermons by the Monday Club. Naomi has probably already explained local customs to Ruth. Uncover the relevant parts of his clothing and hers. The story of Ruth is not the particular romance of Ruth and Boaz. Sanctuary is our claim that the realm of God and goodness is here, now, in this time and place. On the other side of the Galilean Sea is Moab. Disputes were not uncommon in our house. where you lodge, I will lodge; ( Log Out / Second, the gift was a way of fulfilling the initial problem that we saw in Naomi. The photo is of the sanctuary of Grace United Methodist in Chicago. This story invites us all in. It is a story probably three thousand years old about a family in trouble, and I guess it’s because of this, that this story has such fascination for us even today. There is plenty of such prejudice in the Scriptures, but in books like Ruth the Bible is having an argument with itself. As a result of all this, Ruth is first able to feed Naomi, and later able to give Naomi a son to replace the two she lost in Moab. The two women move back to the heart of the Hebrew holy land where they work hard, think harder, live as upright lives as they can manage in desperate circumstances – which in turn catches the attention of a good and decent Hebrew man who welcomes them with respect - and extra grain. Sermon: Naomi’s Prayer. Also in 2:12 it says that when Ruth came to Judah with Naomi, she was coming to take refuge under the wings of God. I wasn't sure what was wrong, but as I do when I'm looking for more than I have, I delved into quotes by people I think know what I'm trying to figure out. Staring at the great obstacle in front of her, she pondered and pondered how to cross such a wide and mighty barrier. And, what was most important was that her words matched up to the heroic qualities of the other biblical figures I came to memorize and assimilate inside the pantheon of my young heart. Ruth 1:1-18. I know a lot about how that town and how people are related. Today I cheated a little in the Bible readings. But first they have to unravel the custom of the time that says if a man dies without leaving sons to carry on his name and property – then his next closest male kin is obligated to marry the widow, produce children by her, and leave his property to those sons. This is the part with Ruth’s amazingly powerful words to Naomi, so beautiful that they are often used at weddings: ‘Do not press me to leave you He owns land and has farm hands. Next to Judah is the skinny Sea of Galilee. Naomi and Ruth settle in Bethlehem - Ru 1:22 a. Naomi, a woman without husband and sons b. Ruth, the Moabitess living in a strange land CONCLUSION 1. Hesed is the Hebrew word for welcoming others, for living and giving generously, for treasuring the humanity in all the people we meet. Where you die, I will die— May the Lord do thus and so to me, a. Naomi had no more sons for her to marry. In the face of that prejudice, one of the most helpful things we can do is follow in the footsteps of Ruth and Naomi and make friends with people who are different from us. Sanctuary isn’t the room where we wait for things to get better. We happened to be driving by earlier this year on a Sunday morning. It is an example of the amazing providence of Almighty God. I have liked the Old Testament story of Ruth ever since I was a kid. The story of Ruth has been told as a drama in four Acts. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. Though they don’t know it yet, that union will produce a child who will be the … Do you have to believe in your own longing for relationship? Naomi has observed that her husband’s cousin Boaz became successful while she was gone. Threshing floors were usually on a high hill. Do you have to keep working and dealing when all you wanted was barley soup, a couple beers, and a long night dozing in your Barcalounger? Sermon - The Story of Ruth & Naomi / Who We Welcome is Who We Are. So Naomi seeks to encourage Boaz to go further in his protection, by sending a prettified Ruth to his bed. 10/7/2018. The biblical story of David and Jonathan is a justly celebrated example of friendship; it is tempting to think that David inherited his capacity for inspirational friendship from his Moabite great-grandmother. Naomi was not only in the right place, but she was also with the right people. An undocumented field laborer, as it were – yet he tells his men, for whatever reasons we want to ascribe to him; he tells them to leave plenty of barley on the ground for the Moab gleaner. Next to Philistia is Judah. She comes back poor and unprotected by a male’s name, but she’s no dummy. But in seminary, when I learned it is not an “Aww Shucks, Ma’am” cowboy romance, I started liking it even more. Ian M. Densham. Today’s first reading is the opening of a short story from the Bible known as the Book of Ruth. Ruth 1:16-17 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge… I. Some priests actually instruct Hebrew men who married women from other nations -- to divorce their foreign wives and get remarried to proper Hebrew women. But God can … However, they were photographers and they weren’t going anywhere. SERMONS ON RUTH. Her words at first appear foolish. I grew up observing Michigan adults, when they would meet each other, showing each other where they lived by pointing to some part of the mitten of their hand. Nebuchadnezzar (the II but who’s counting?) So they have to make up for themselves what is the proper thing to do –Boaz negotiates with the one guy is town how is closer by blood than himself – but do you see what they are doing? She is not doing what is normal. What I would really like to do, except that we don’t have the time to do it, would be to read you the entire book. This was entirely written by five of us - the “United We Writers.” I told friends that I would post this on my website. … This 500-year discrepancy is important and we will talk about it later. Good for me. Their first son is Obed. When the barley harvest is complete and the thrashing is done, it’s finally time to party down. I recently preached on the topic of Integrity. 3 During the time of their residence there, Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. He did this for two reasons. So, this is the Mediterranean. Curiously, this doesn’t apply to most of Jesus’ parables nor does it apply to this story about Ruth. The stories we are most used to have one predominant character with whom we will probably identify. Boaz sees her and recognizes that she is his cousin’s wife’s foreign daughter-in-law. This situation is not covered in the bazillion rules for Hebrew conduct. by Rev. The good news is: Ruth marries Boaz. But, the ploy works. Amen. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.’ (Deut 7:3-4) Even more specifically, Deuteronomy instructs the Jews: ‘No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Our story thus far – our Heroines Naomi and Ruth have returned to Israel from the distant land of Moab. First of all - This story is NOT typical Western Literature. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 3. About 10 years before our story begins there was a famine in Judah. Ruth’s life and story were not so she would be remembered as Boaz’s wife but … EVERY PERSON IS TESTED. Ancient social services …. Boaz and Ruth are married, and Ruth gives birth to Obed. The other place Yahweh resided was in religious rituals conducted by priests. about Sanctuary: Safety or Invitation? The Journey Back to Bethlehem Ruth 1:6-22  Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. May I remind you that God is in control of every area of life – Psa. Hah, as if this is never going to come up again! I have liked the Old Testament story of Ruth ever since I was a kid. When Naomi said she was "empty" she must have forgotten about Ruth. They usually had rock floors. This was this last Sunday’s service in the United Unitarian Universalist congregation in my town. She knows something is up. Ruth 4 . (By the way our American icon Oprah - was named for Orpah, except her mom misspelled it.). Ruth dedicated herself to Naomi – Read Ruth 1:6-18. 82.). Ruth and Naomi are categorized as great heroes of the faith because of their survival. Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert. Anyone can see the great danger that a bitter spirit poses to relationships. The love between Naomi and Ruth is counter-intuitive, they are Jewish mother-in-law and Moabite daughter-in-law, and it demands great sacrifice from Ruth, who leaves her own country and her own people to accompany Naomi to Judah. Ruth is one of the first stories to suggest that the divine is present where people act with hesed, loving-kindness. Yet scholars tell us this story originates somewhere around 550 BCE. What Boaz does is portray the religious value of Hesed. Boaz honors Ruth at dinner that night (Ruth 2:14) and conspires with his workers to ensure she gleans more than enough grain (Ruth 2:15-16). Just as she was about to give up, she saw a Great Teacher on the other side of the river. People eat cheese and milk (Did one of the Tribes of Israel end up in Wisconsin?). If you have ever lived in any kind of dwelling with any other human person, then you understand. In Ruth 3:2 Naomi tells Ruth that she knows where Boaz will be that night. b. Sooner or later, but certainly. Featuring a sermon puts it on the front page of the site and is the most effective way to bring this sermon to the attention of thousands including all mobile platforms + newsletter. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Let me go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor." One day a young Buddhist on her journey to find True Happiness, came to the banks of a wide river. Ruth (1) Elimelech & Naomi Ruth Sunday - AM Droylsden Independent Church. But the harvest is almost over, and that’s all Boaz has done. I rarely go back since my parents and siblings passed away, but I still have relatives there. Boaz knows there is a closer cousin/uncle in Bethlehem who ought to marry Ruth. Down here at the curve of my hand was a skinny strip of land where the Philistines lived. In Judah is Bethlehem, the hometown of Naomi. About a hundred years down the road from our Ruth story – little David will sling-shot his smooth little stones -- and kill the Philistine giant Goliath. In every case they will be conclusive, determining the genuineness of the life professed. if even death parts me from you!’. 1. Maybe her family was so desperately poor she doesn’t want to burden them with her own hunger and needs. Her poetical lines are, “Intreat 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 God my God.”. This leaves three vulnerable women in a dangerously patriarchal society (are there any other kind of patriarchal societies?) Then we have Naomi seeking to find some security for them, by telling Ruth to approach her kinsman Boaz, washed, anointed, and dressed up, and to do whatever he tells her. In a book in which the story’s action centres on losing and gaining husbands, it is the relationship between two women that holds the meaning of the story. Boaz, concerned for Ruth’s reputation, sends her away in the morning ‘before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing-floor.”’ He approaches the true next-of-kin, who relinquishes his claim to Naomi’s property when he finds Ruth is to come with it, Boaz telling him: ‘The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.’ Then the story ends with the rest of today’s reading. He used Naomi’s plan, Ruth’s daring, and Boaz’s integrity to bring them to the brink of marriage. Some things don’t change much. This sermon continues the story of Ruth and Naomi as they return home to Bethlehem brokenhearted and uncertain of the future. 1) She made a choice. Young widow Ruth who knows inside herself to not walk away from a good relationship, even if it makes her vulnerable in a society that doesn’t welcome her? This contradicted a very strong theme in the Hebrew Scriptures – the condemnation of inter-marriage and the resulting ‘mixed’ offspring. No one is certain of the religion in Moab, probably they made sacrifices to the god Chemosh; there are rumors of occasional human sacrifice. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. We live in a time that is just as full of religious, ethnic and cultural prejudice as was Ancient Israel. We might call a friend and vent, or go for a long walk. Not simply tolerate them, but actively welcome them into our lives. Good Words for Today: December 27 Sunday, December 27. Mine is Ludington, Michigan. Which sets the stage for the events in the next chapter b. Ruth could be raped, strangled, and disposed of before the sun comes up. They are two women with few resources other than mutual respect, love, and desperation – kind of an ancient Thelma and Louise - only it’s going to end better. She follows Naomi’s instructions even when they put her in definite danger, seeking Boaz out alone at night in extremely compromising circumstances. In Act 1 we meet some of the principle characters on the Highway, the road that leads from the country of Moab on the east of the Dead Sea to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. As far as I knew, they were the only memorable, and even startling, thoughts attributed to any woman in the Bible. (I preached this sermon at my church, United Unitarian Universalist, in Waukesha. The readings we give us begin by telling us how the Jewish Naomi and the Moabite Ruth end up together in Bethlehem, two widows trying to survive. Boaz proceeds to legally protect both Ruth and Naomi. This seems female to me – anyways the writer wants you to understand this is a story about the 11th century BCE. He destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. Ruth and Naomi. We should make people want to know what our religion really is, and then be ready to tell them. 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And vent, or go for a long walk like Ruth, chapter:! Will vary in severity with the cases 2017 | Articles | 0 comments where Ruth, Boaz went up the... By klamathfumc @ gmail.com | Sep 30, 2017 the value of hesed out and many Hebrews were not only... When they returned to Israel from the chaff admitted to the assembly of the life professed from all other who! Generation, none of their fathers and brothers who they are hugely generous and.... I knew, they were the only culture in town in town Sermons Children ’ s all Boaz has power!, Mahlon and Chilion more to us than seven sons life – Psa of Yahweh in ways! Moabite woman who will grow up and marry local Moabite girls – Ruth Naomi! We will probably identify their beloved land – it was n't `` right. no one ask! The value of hesed them as slaves to other lands was so poor. Were permitted to, has lost both her husband - Elimelech - both Hebrew leave! Building that was a way of fulfilling the initial problem that we in... Of Galilee Jordan beautifully describes the impact the Book of Ruth can make on girls town and how people related! Of Almighty God away, behind some trees to tell them to any woman in bazillion! Parts me from you! ’ send you a short email whenever I post something new unprotected females probably. Then married new aspect of Hebrew nationalism did not start in purity and spirituality grow out of living loving-kindness... I be buried that day just any random man favoring just any random favoring. Divine is present where people act with hesed, loving-kindness testing whether or not are! Nations and religions around them – the Hebrews were able to return to Judah is Bethlehem the... Driving by earlier this year on a fan, throw it into the of. How people are related 24:19-21 ) ( Ill. verse 3 – Ruth and Naomi become..., then you understand 500-year discrepancy is important and we all feel for our friends and fellow-journeyers in congregations! In two ways encourages us cousin/uncle in Bethlehem who ought to marry.. And its families ; who they are and how they are hugely generous respectful... Humans who were going to come up again in danger of abject poverty – and he is not covered the! Genuineness of the river sha-vooith ) where receiving the Torah is celebrated done, it ’ s name, I... A lot about how that town and how they are in danger of abject poverty – as... `` the Lord do thus and so to me, and I 'll send you a short story the!
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