They preach that citizens are being corrupted by the unfamiliar practices of foreigners among them. All we know is that Ruth told Naomi she wasn’t going back home and Naomi assented to this. Naomi has observed that her husband’s cousin Boaz became successful while she was gone. Ian M. Densham. What Boaz does is portray the religious value of Hesed. Boaz and Ruth are married, and Ruth gives birth to Obed. Sermon Study # 237 – SERVANT SPIRIT Illustrate the life of Ruth. The photo is of the sanctuary of Grace United Methodist in Chicago. She knew what kind of a person Boaz was. Today’s first reading is the opening of a short story from the Bible known as the Book of Ruth. 37:23. The lectionary has cut out the part where Ruth, as widows were permitted to, has been gleaning among Boaz’s fields. 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 One day a young Buddhist on her journey to find True Happiness, came to the banks of a wide river. This seems female to me – anyways the writer wants you to understand this is a story about the 11th century BCE. 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. Not simply tolerate them, but actively welcome them into our lives. They don’t have property or money; they are in danger of abject poverty – and as unprotected females – probably worse. (June Jordan, ‘Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan: One Love’, in Out of the Garden: Women Writers on the Bible, p. He did this for two reasons. Naomi was not only in the right place, but she was also with the right people. I took this single picture with my phone, capturing the affection we all feel for our friends and fellow-journeyers in our congregations. ( Log Out / Naomi, an Israelite by birth, has lost both her husband and her sons and is returning in absolute poverty. Boaz who likely has already has had a full life and now this younger woman shows up and he has to find within himself the grace to accept the joy and work - and babies! 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. 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 was with the Israelites whom the Lord had blessed again and she was with Ruth whom the Lord was also blessing. Ruth Deciding (Ruth 1).Poignant words of Ruth to Naomi appear in verse 16, ''Entreat me not to leave thee, or to turn away from following thee; for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.'' She considered Ruth and Orpah as carnal as she was - 1:15. One of the other nations was Moab. He owns land and has farm hands. There is also that historical reality I alluded to in the beginning. Sermon - The Story of Ruth & Naomi / Who We Welcome is Who We Are. 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. She is not doing what is normal. your people shall be my people, May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!’ (Ruth 1:16-17) Ruth not only says that Naomi’s God will be her God, she makes her vow in the name of that God. Orpah feels bad about this, but she leaves. Ruth would want to know about Naomi’s God, and Naomi would be only too glad to tell her all she knew. 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. Naomi has probably already explained local customs to Ruth. In Deuteronomy the command was given to the people of Israel: ‘Do not intermarry with [Gentiles], giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for that would turn away your children from following me, to serve other gods. ( Log Out / The story of Ruth has been told as a drama in four Acts. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. These two people want to get married -- and we don’t have clearly established laws about what to do. It’s a very, very great pity that the lectionary skips over most of it. Our story thus far – our Heroines Naomi and Ruth have returned to Israel from the distant land of Moab. Up until this time, people understood the presence of Yahweh in two ways. 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. I know a lot about how that town and how people are related. Naomi explains: “The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives” (Ruth 2:20). Hesed is the ordinary and extraordinary moral characteristic of “loving-kindness”. Ruth 1:1-18, 3:1-5, 4:13-17. Boaz knows there is a closer cousin/uncle in Bethlehem who ought to marry Ruth. 2) She didn’t seek personal gain in her choice. 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. Sanctuary is more than a concept. b. Boaz proceeds to legally protect both Ruth and Naomi. When Obed grows up, he has a son named Jesse. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Posted on April 12, 2008 by admin February 7, 2017. In the entire three-year lectionary we only have two readings from Ruth, and rather than have one last week and one this week, I put them together so you could hear as much of the story as possible. Judah is the mothership of modern Israel. Here Ruth is about to place her faith in Jehovah [1:16], but Naomi thinks that Ruth is only concerned with worldly matters. 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. by [email protected] | Sep 30, 2017 | Articles | 0 comments. There is plenty of such prejudice in the Scriptures, but in books like Ruth the Bible is having an argument with itself. God had won Ruth's allegiance in Moab and so it was to God that Naomi owed the amazing love of her daughter-in-law. This story invites us all in. 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). Except when they returned to their beloved land – it was different and parts of it were destroyed. Naomi sees how much barley Ruth is gleaning – she tells Ruth to ONLY glean in Boaz’ fields. Knowing that gives me some clues as to how I would survive if I needed to move back. When the barley harvest is complete and the thrashing is done, it’s finally time to party down. Change ). And, as a little girl, I appropriated the fierce loyalty, and the all-out loving commitment embodied by this passage, as an ideal towards which I could and should eagerly aspire … What mattered to me was that, finally, somewhere, in that big Holy Book, there were words uttered by somebody female to another somebody female. It's the church in which Len and I met and then married. Sanctuary is the space where we claim peace and justice, hope and love right now, among us. Our text today is a family story. She was left with her daughters-in-law - Orpah and Ruth. Second, the gift was a way of fulfilling the initial problem that we saw in Naomi. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Yet her loyalty honors God and God moves powerfully as a result of Ruth’s proclamation. - of a new relationship? She was rewarded for her sacrificial service. And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." Dress nicely, put on your best perfume, and go to the threshing floor of Boaz. Which means, where there are a bunch of drinking and celebrating men, who have probably just gotten their paychecks for the season – there will also be women who will offer sex for love, food, drink, and money. Naomi tells Ruth to sneak very late in the night onto the threshing floor, find her way around sleeping men until she finds Boaz. And we see that her observations about Boaz were true. Do you have to believe in your own longing for relationship? 4. I recently preached on the topic of Integrity. Welcoming the stranger has always been and will continue to be the spiritual home of people seeking to live meaningful lives in unholy times. Sign up here and I'll send you a short email whenever I post something new. Ruth and Naomi are categorized as great heroes of the faith because of their survival. Some things don’t change much. In order to feed herself and Naomi, Ruth goes off to glean in the fields – Lev. There is a huge and powerful message going on that says what’s wrong with society is foreign people, especially foreign women, lax morals, and lack of respect for the laws, rules, and customs of olden times. Ruth is a book that challenges religious, ethnic and cultural prejudice. Our sermon ideas on the book of Ruth will help reveal deep truth of survival, despite hardship. a. Orpah went back to her people. Uncover the relevant parts of his clothing and hers. 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. However, before Ruth left, Boaz filled her shawl with barley once again showing love toward Ruth and Naomi. Ruth 1:1-18. What a remarkable group, together unexpectedly because Ruth was … This was entirely written by five of us - the “United We Writers.” I told friends that I would post this on my website. Continue. Poet June Jordan beautifully describes the impact the Book of Ruth can make on girls. But in seminary, when I learned it is not an “Aww Shucks, Ma’am” cowboy romance, I started liking it even more. SERMONS ON RUTH. In contrast, the Book of Ruth not only shows a Moabite marrying a Jew and becoming the ancestress of King David, it also shows the commitment of this Moabite woman to the God of Israel, Yahweh, in her declaration to Naomi: ‘your people shall be my people, and your God my God. It’s only four chapters long – you can read it in a half hour to see how much I did or didn’t make up… What are we to make of this short tale? This was this last Sunday’s service in the United Unitarian Universalist congregation in my town. In 1:16 we learn that at the root of Ruth's commitment to Naomi is Ruth's commitment to Naomi's God: "Your God shall be my God." However, they were photographers and they weren’t going anywhere. Hesed is the Hebrew word for welcoming others, for living and giving generously, for treasuring the humanity in all the people we meet. In every case they will be conclusive, determining the genuineness of the life professed. Ruth 1:16-18 A Love Story. Some priests actually instruct Hebrew men who married women from other nations -- to divorce their foreign wives and get remarried to proper Hebrew women. I have liked the Old Testament story of Ruth ever since I was a kid. Moab is a Semitic tribe of people that is in almost all other mentions in the Bible, is regarded as inferior people and culture. 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. Or they have become close, close friends. Next to Philistia is Judah. The Jordan River starts north of it, runs through this Sea of Galilee and then south out of it where is dead-ends in the Dead Sea. But the harvest is almost over, and that’s all Boaz has done. Though they don’t know it yet, that union will produce a child who will be the … EVERY PERSON IS TESTED. Curiously, this doesn’t apply to most of Jesus’ parables nor does it apply to this story about Ruth. Partying in Judah 500 BCE means beer, food, revelry, and sleeping all night on the threshing floor - possibly because wives don’t want those stinky, drunk men coming home. With him were his wife, Naomi, and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. One was in miracles – such as Moses encountering the burning bush. She served Naomi and served Boaz. They were voting that day on what to do with their building. About 10 years before our story begins there was a famine in Judah. Check out these helpful resources Biblical Commentary Sermons Children’s Sermons Hymn Lists. We happened to be driving by earlier this year on a Sunday morning. Older Naomi returning to her hometown with an unexpected dependent? by Rev. Later the married sons die. Their arrival was at the beginning of the barley harvest... a. 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. 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. Hesed - the loving-kindness that is the root of Hebrew culture and law - is lifted up as the heart of Torah. Naomi's Attempts to Turn Back Ruth and Orpah. That welcoming of the powerless, of women, of the unwanted immigrant from Moab –- this is the tale used to launch the story of King David. This is a trick to get the protection of Boaz who has money, power, and land in a place and time where women rarely have any. Which sets the stage for the events in the next chapter b. Maybe Naomi’s Hebrew faith appeals to Ruth. It started in respect, friendship, risk, and welcoming the stranger among them. (Deut 23:3). He says OK, he will marry Ruth. Sermon: Naomi’s Prayer. People eat cheese and milk (Did one of the Tribes of Israel end up in Wisconsin?). When Naomi said she was "empty" she must have forgotten about Ruth. Sermon Ruth 1:1-19a Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and You. King David hits the scene about 1000 BCE; we are supposed to understand that Ruth is the great-grandmother of David. Threshing floors were usually on a high hill. about Sanctuary: Safety or Invitation? They go back to Naomi’s hometown of Bethlehem. The tests will vary in severity with the cases. Ruth (1) Elimelech & Naomi Ruth Sunday - AM Droylsden Independent Church. 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. He used Naomi’s plan, Ruth’s daring, and Boaz’s integrity to bring them to the brink of marriage. In verse 6 Naomi gets word that "the Lord has visited his people and given them food." It IS a story of dangerous poverty, racism, and sexism – and what happened when good adults welcomed each other in an unsafe place and time. Particularly this Semitic farming tradition, which they are going to need to exploit. … Which portends a new beginning in the lives of Naomi and Ruth 2. Ruth’s life and story were not so she would be remembered as Boaz’s wife but … The book of Ruth offers readers great insight into the importance of women to Israel’s history and the strength found in steadfast love. Which character is you in the Ruth tale? I recognize the interconnections of most of the roads and street; I know the sounds one would hear – the car ferry horn coming in and out of the harbor, whippoorwills at night, and the sound of Lake Michigan’s waves slapping the breakwater when one walks out to the lighthouse. and more as well, All along it was God turning Naomi's … Ruth takes the initiative and Naomi responds with a short concise statement, “Go, my daughter.” o Ruth is active/Naomi is inactive o Ruth is hopeful/Naomi is hopeless o Ruth is determined/ Naomi is in despair • Verse 3 is remarkable in its irony. ( Log Out / We live in a time that is just as full of religious, ethnic and cultural prejudice as was Ancient Israel. I have a hometown that is not Waukesha, as do many of you do. Ruth has kids with Boaz. Amen. 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. When he was done talking, I walked to get a drink at a building that was a distance away, behind some trees. Ruth says no, she’s not going back. Sanctuary is our claim that the realm of God and goodness is here, now, in this time and place. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 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. Synagogues and temples are filled with greenery. This small story of Ruth portrays a new aspect of Hebrew religion. There were very clear laws about how to deal with widows who don’t have sons. During the celebration of Shavuot, the story of Ruth and Naomi and Boaz is written to the assembled congregation. Ruth 4 . Text: Ruth 4 . Reflecting on Ruth’s passionate promise of commitment to Naomi she writes: From earliest childhood, I remember one or another version of these passionate words. • Ruth asked Naomi to let her go to the fields of someone who will allow her and work, that they might have something to eat. Ruth 1:1-19a Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and You. 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. Mariah Marlin-Warfield | Oct 13, 2019 | Sermons. He kidnapped Hebrews to export them as slaves to other lands. Her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, go with her part way it seems, but then in verses 8–13 she tries to persuade them to go back home. 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. Check out these helpful resources Biblical Commentary Sermons Children’s Sermons Hymn Lists. 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. That’s Naomi. The story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz encourages us. May the Lord do thus and so to me, Purity and spirituality grow out of living in loving-kindness in one’s family and community. Sermon for Williamstown. Mine is Ludington, Michigan. They start to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem but nothing feels as “holy and inspiring” as their handed-down memories of life back when “people worked hard and lived moral and upright lives.”. He will be winnowing grain on the threshing floor. November 8, 2015. The threshing floors have this reputation. This situation is new. As far as Ruth knew, she was going back to Israel to die as a widow. Where you go, I will go; And that is how I got myself separated from all other humans who were going to be hiking across Bonaventure Island that day. 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. This story certainly illustrates the importance of making choices... a. This sermon continues the story of Ruth and Naomi as they return home to Bethlehem brokenhearted and uncertain of the future. and your God my God. Ruth 3 shows us how God works through our choices to accomplish his will for our lives. First, the barley was a gesture of down-payment on Ruth, a type of bride price and confirmation that Boaz would be sure she was taken care of. It is an example of the amazing providence of Almighty God. We might call a friend and vent, or go for a long walk. 1. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. In verse 18 of chapter 3, Naomi told Ruth that Boaz would not rest until he has settled it today. The stories we are most used to have one predominant character with whom we will probably identify. Naomi tells Ruth to glean in Boaz’ fields - so Ruth does this. Ruth proclaims her loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi. And as Israel rebuilt after the Babylonian exile, those who had married foreign wives were commanded to repudiate them, and agreed: ‘So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.’ (Ezra 10:3). there will I be buried. Disputes were not uncommon in our house. I rarely go back since my parents and siblings passed away, but I still have relatives there. People through the centuries have interpreted this plea and promise in many different ways. 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. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Anyone can see the great danger that a bitter spirit poses to relationships. 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