So Naomi seeks to encourage Boaz to go further in his protection, by sending a prettified Ruth to his bed. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. There was one time … Naomi is realistically apprehensive about her own chances for a secure future, yet she allows this younger woman, against all that is common sense - to accompany her. She’s been gone a long time. Nebuchadnezzar (the II but who’s counting?) He did this for two reasons. Ruth is also a wonderful part of the Bible for women to read and enjoy. Naomi's Attempts to Turn Back Ruth and Orpah. Our sermon ideas on the book of Ruth will help reveal deep truth of survival, despite hardship. Boaz sees her and recognizes that she is his cousin’s wife’s foreign daughter-in-law. The threshing floors have this reputation. or to turn back from following you! But God can … If you have ever lived in any kind of dwelling with any other human person, then you understand. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. He says OK, he will marry Ruth. 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. 19:9-10; Deut. Though they don’t know it yet, that union will produce a child who will be the … Do you have to make peace with your past? Naomi was not only in the right place, but she was also with the right people. Uncover the relevant parts of his clothing and hers. 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. 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). But even here, the story teller of Ruth is saying look – ALL your rules and you don’t know what to do with a foreign widow who is the daughter-in-law of a good Hebrew woman. Naomi and her husband - Elimelech - both Hebrew - leave Judah to move to Moab where conditions are better. Their first son is Obed. Second, the gift was a way of fulfilling the initial problem that we saw in Naomi. 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. 10/7/2018, Sanctuary: Safety or Invitation? Sign up here and I'll send you a short email whenever I post something new. Our story thus far – our Heroines Naomi and Ruth have returned to Israel from the distant land of Moab. If this ruse doesn’t work, Boaz has the power to do what he wants to an unprotected female. So Hebrew culture may have seemed more respectful of life and Ruth was perceptive enough to want that. 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. This sermon continues the story of Ruth and Naomi as they return home to Bethlehem brokenhearted and uncertain of the future. 3. Naomi’s husband and then two sons died. 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. 3 During the time of their residence there, Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. I took this single picture with my phone, capturing the affection we all feel for our friends and fellow-journeyers in our congregations. So, this is the Mediterranean. 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. Hesed is the Hebrew word for welcoming others, for living and giving generously, for treasuring the humanity in all the people we meet. The story of Ruth has been told as a drama in four Acts. 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. Anyone can see the great danger that a bitter spirit poses to relationships. 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. In every case they will be conclusive, determining the genuineness of the life professed. She was rewarded for her sacrificial service. They usually had rock floors. Sermon Ruth 1:1-19a Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and You. This situation is new. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The day after Christmas I realized it wasn't "right." Ancient social services …. Her words at first appear foolish. He owns land and has farm hands. Disputes were not uncommon in our house. 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 small story of Ruth portrays a new aspect of Hebrew religion. Generational faithfulness matters because a legacy of the grace of God unfolds throughout the testimonies of people. Ruth 3 shows us how God works through our choices to accomplish his will for our lives. When the barley harvest is complete and the thrashing is done, it’s finally time to party down. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. People through the centuries have interpreted this plea and promise in many different ways. I have liked the Old Testament story of Ruth ever since I was a kid. However, they were photographers and they weren’t going anywhere. 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. And she said to her, "Go, my daughter." Sermon - The Story of Ruth & Naomi / Who We Welcome is Who We Are. And there were probably also ‘exploitive to women sexual practices’ that were part of the Semitic religion in Moab. Moab is a Semitic tribe of people that is in almost all other mentions in the Bible, is regarded as inferior people and culture. Therefore it is owing to God that Ruth left her home and family to follow and serve Naomi. Yet her loyalty honors God and God moves powerfully as a result of Ruth’s proclamation. 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? where you lodge, I will lodge; Posted on November 8, 2015 by Avril Hannah-Jones. Ruth 1:16-18 A Love Story. She depreciated the value of her relationship with Ruth – 1:21. 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. Instead of asking you to identify with one character–ancient stories present a small assortment of likely characters – and you probably gravitate to one that resonates in you. Palm geography (I made up the phrase) is part of my Michigan heritage. Ruth and Naomi. 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. 4. The little 4-chapter book of Ruth is squeezed into the historical books of the Hebrew story – Joshua, Judges, the Samuels, Kings, and Chronicles. (By the way our American icon Oprah - was named for Orpah, except her mom misspelled it.). Staring at the great obstacle in front of her, she pondered and pondered how to cross such a wide and mighty barrier. They have two sons who will grow up and marry local Moabite girls – Ruth and Orpah. What Boaz does is portray the religious value of Hesed. Ruth dedicated herself to Naomi – Read Ruth 1:6-18. The photo is of the sanctuary of Grace United Methodist in Chicago. It’s a very, very great pity that the lectionary skips over most of it. Just as she was about to give up, she saw a Great Teacher on the other side of the river. 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. (I preached this sermon at my church, United Unitarian Universalist, in Waukesha. She knows Bethlehem and its families; who they are and how they are related. The park ranger described the paths one could choose to hike across the island. But in seminary, when I learned it is not an “Aww Shucks, Ma’am” cowboy romance, I started liking it even more. James Baldwin amazed me. Maybe her family was so desperately poor she doesn’t want to burden them with her own hunger and needs. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. We don’t know: they, like Ruth, may end up being more to us than seven sons. He kidnapped Hebrews to export them as slaves to other lands. 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. You may recognize this verse from Psalms or from Godspell: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.” (Zion is a poetical name for Jerusalem.) There were rules for EVERYTHING people were likely to do, eat, and own. The Reverend Charles Hoffacker. Fourth in the series, Ruth: A Handbook for Christians. by Rev. Sanctuary isn’t the room where we wait for things to get better. 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. The story of Ruth is not the particular romance of Ruth and Boaz. 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. Not simply tolerate them, but actively welcome them into our lives. Naomi tells her two daughters-in-law to go back to their Moabite birth families, back to the protection of their fathers and brothers. Knowing that gives me some clues as to how I would survive if I needed to move back. Mariah Marlin-Warfield | Oct 13, 2019 | Sermons. But of course there were other nations and religions around them – the Hebrews were not the only culture in town. The year being described was about 1100 BCE, although this story is written down and collated into Hebrew Torah between 550-400BCE. When Jesses grows up, he will have the little boy with the slingshot - who will become King David. ( Log Out / The service was wonderfully received. These two people want to get married -- and we don’t have clearly established laws about what to do. Ruth would want to know about Naomi’s God, and Naomi would be only too glad to tell her all she knew. He will be winnowing grain on the threshing floor. 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. The lectionary has cut out the part where Ruth, as widows were permitted to, has been gleaning among Boaz’s fields. 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. She comes back poor and unprotected by a male’s name, but she’s no dummy. 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! your people shall be my people, a. Orpah went back to her people. and more as well, This leaves three vulnerable women in a dangerously patriarchal society (are there any other kind of patriarchal societies?) Ruth is one of the first stories to suggest that the divine is present where people act with hesed, loving-kindness. She served Naomi and served Boaz. (Deut 23:3). It is an example of the amazing providence of Almighty God. It started in respect, friendship, risk, and welcoming the stranger among them. 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. Ruth says no, she’s not going back. 1. In Judah is Bethlehem, the hometown of Naomi. A sermon on Ruth 3:1-18 by Russell Smith. This situation is not covered in the bazillion rules for Hebrew conduct. a. Naomi had no more sons for her to marry. 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. They would put the grain on a fan, throw it into the air, let the wind separate the grain from the chaff. Good for me. Naomi tells Ruth to glean in Boaz’ fields - so Ruth does this. King David hits the scene about 1000 BCE; we are supposed to understand that Ruth is the great-grandmother of David. I preached this sermon at United Unitarian Universalist /23/2019. Do you have to believe in your own longing for relationship? 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? So Naomi counsels Ruth to fix herself up--after all, the only way Boaz had seen her was covered in the dust and sweat of working in his fields. Naomi’s husband dies. ( Log Out / Euphemisms are used, but what I said is what she did. The tests will vary in severity with the cases. Ruth is a book that challenges religious, ethnic and cultural prejudice. b. Ruth chose to go with Naomi. 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. Ruth could be raped, strangled, and disposed of before the sun comes up. Next to Judah is the skinny Sea of Galilee. The good news is: Ruth marries Boaz. She is accompanied by her daughter in law Ruth, who is a foreign born Moabitess, and has no resources of her own. 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. Boaz knows there is a closer cousin/uncle in Bethlehem who ought to marry Ruth. Their arrival was at the beginning of the barley harvest... a. Ruth has kids with Boaz. She knows something is up. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The Hebrews, only a couple hundred years past Moses leading them out of Egypt, were developing into a fairly cohesive culture of monotheistic Yahweh worshippers. Naomi has observed that her husband’s cousin Boaz became successful while she was gone. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And that is how I got myself separated from all other humans who were going to be hiking across Bonaventure Island that day. No one would ask too many questions of a landowner like Boaz. Ruth, Naomi and Boaz – sermon notes. Sermons from Ruth When Trouble Comes (Ruth 1:1-5) Back to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:6-22) How Providence Works (Ruth 2:1-3) The Gospel According to Boaz (Ruth 2:4-18) When God Comes Through for You (Ruth 2:19-23) Risky Business (Ruth 3) God Writes the Last Chapter (Ruth 4:1-12) Happily Ever After (Ruth 4:13-22) Latest blog posts . Today’s first reading is the opening of a short story from the Bible known as the Book of Ruth. 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. She was left with her daughters-in-law - Orpah and Ruth. Particularly this Semitic farming tradition, which they are going to need to exploit. Continue. I know a lot about how that town and how people are related. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Sanctuary is Our Claim that Hope Can Become Truth. Up until this time, people understood the presence of Yahweh in two ways. Our text today is a family story. November 8, 2015. Good Words for Today: December 27 Sunday, December 27. Also, he doesn’t seem too married. 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? 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