"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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Ruth 1:1-22 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
This week, we have as our text the first chapter of the book of Ruth, which gives us a good taste of the whole story, but just a taste.
Don't be afraid this week to spend a good amount of time just re-telling the story of this beautiful little treasure of a book.
Just to set this in context, we've come from Israel standing on the edge of the Promised Land last week to the time of the Judges this week. "In the days when the judges ruled..." (Ruth 1:1) refers to the stories in the book of Judges, of course, when Israel was by turns faithful to God and unfaithful.
God regularly raises up "judges" -- military and political leaders -- to save Israel from their enemies, but they fall back into mayhem every time. The book of Judges, which comes right before Ruth, ends with inter-tribal conflict and these ominous words: "In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25).
Doing "what was right in their own eyes" is a direct denial of the Law given to Israel, the story we heard last week. The Law is given to promote life, life with God and life in community. Israel, in ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 006: Ruth
October 16, 2011
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Ruth, Ruth 1:1-22.