we could come to the middle

let it all pass through

A sermon on the conclusion to Ruth:
The ballad of Ruth the Moabite builds to it’s seemingly inevitable crescendo. Only, before the string chorus can swell and Ruth and Boaz can sail off into happily ever after; there’s one last thing… It turns out there's someone a little higher up the ladder than Boaz, someone with a prior claim, someone with dibs
Back in the day, official business was done at the city gate where there would be witnesses aplenty. And Boaz means to make this official. Boaz calls over the next-of-kin, and let’s him know he’s entitled to first look at Elimelch’s estate. Including a good, safe investment if ever there was one; a plum piece of property.
The next-of-kin asks to see the deed… And as he goes over the paperwork, he notices a rider! The property doesn’t come free and clear! To claim the property, you also have to claim Ruth! And Ruth, like the rest of us, comes with a history.
In this case it means any offspring Ruth might have, could even…

i was baptized like really early

i might give satan a swirly

A sermon from the Third Chapter of Ruth:
We all want to be people of character, don’t we?
And while we all define that a little differently; it’s fair to say that the kind of life we’re looking to lead looks remarkably similar from person to person…

What matters to you? What do you want your life to look like? What do you want it to be marked by, to include??? *Go ahead; call out some qualities: (Happiness, love, gratitude, joy, family, peace, generosity, security) Anything else???
But that’s pretty much what really matters, isn’t it? If we could all just stay focused on those few things, we’d all probably be a lot happier. Wouldn’t we?
But that’s the rub, isn’t it? Because it’s not that easy. There’s so much else that fights for our attention and energy…
…Which is why Ruth is such a compelling person of faith.
I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be a little sad next week, when we hear the last chapter of Ruth, and say goodbye to this faithful woman! Ruth …

i need the saint of impossible causes

the saint of no return

A sermon on the Second Chapter of Ruth

One cold, winter evening a group of us decided to go out to a new trendy restaurant… Getting ready, we made sure to dress up in our best duds. You know; play the part. Of all my friends, though, I was the most prepared…
That Christmas, in an inspired moment, I asked my folks for a double-breasted, black wool coat—which I still have. And let me tell you, with that jacket, my one pair of nice slacks and dress shoes, I was the “real-deal.” While the rest of my friends were out there aping at sophistication; I was really pulling it off.
Walking in, I knew anyone would be able to see who really belonged there. UntilUntil I stepped on a patch of ice. For which my traction-less dress shoes were no help. And those pockets of my refined wool coat were just deep enough to keep my hands pinned to my sides, instead of helping me keep my balance—or catch my fall…
As I gracelessly fell to the ground; I could only think of one thing: Please don…

wake you up with a dawn full of golden rays

i want you around

A sermon on the First Chapter of Ruth
Like so many good stories this one begins on the run.
After a famine hits, Naomi and her husband pack-up, get the boys in their carseats and say goodbye to their old life in search of a better one…
…It’s a familiar story, isn’t it?
I grew up in a small town, west and north of here. By small I mean, 8 blocks long by three blocks wide. My friends and I, we spent high school talking about how once we left, we’d never go back. How we were going to leave and find something better.
…Only, it’s not that simple, is it? The past doesn’t let go of us so easily.

And it’s no different for Naomi, either.
She can only run for so long before everything she’s been running from, catches up with her…. And in spades, too.
First, Death comes for her husband. And then, if that weren’t enough, right when her boys get to be the age when Naomi can start expecting grandchildren, Death finds her again
By the time her second boy dies, Naomi doesn’t even need t…