"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Preaching Series on Ruth (1 of 4)
Ruth 1:1-22 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
A story of human love reflecting and enacting divine love, the book of Ruth is a rich text for a sermon series, particularly in summer days when farm fields flourish with the promise of an abundant harvest.
Themes of emptiness and fullness abound in this little book: famine turning to abundant food, loss turning to love, bitterness turning to joy, barrenness giving way to birth.
And the improbable catalyst for all this is Ruth, neither king nor prophet, but only a widow and a foreigner. This little domestic tale is a story of God’s hesed, God’s faithfulness, God’s covenant love, lived out in the lives of everyday, ordinary human beings, much like you and me.
I have written before on this website about the book of Ruth and will undoubtedly touch on some of the same themes, but I will organize this essay according to the four chapters of the book. It is a story in four acts, and lends itself well to a four-part sermon series. For an example of such a sermon series on Ruth, including a sermon that I preached, see the Spring 2013 issue of Word & World.
Preaching text: Ruth 1:1-22; accompanying text: Matthew 5:3-9
Ruth 1: Loss and Loyalty
The first ...
| Bible Text
Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 138: Preaching Series on Ruth
July 22, 2018
This re-broadcast podcast covers the four-week summer preaching series on Ruth (first aired in August 2014 -- note Dr. Schifferdecker's opening reference to "last Sundays in summer" is not applicable to 2018 dates). Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for a conversation on the Narrative Lectionary. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for WorkingPreacher.org.