For Pentecost 23 Rachel Kronberger and Fran delve into the book of Ruth (1:1-18), noting the word plays in the text and the larger themes of feast and famine, love and loss, emptiness and abundance that weave throughout the story. We focus on Ruth’s outsider status, and her gracious covenant with ‘bitter’ Naomi, and note connections with All Saints. We talk about the deep listening and curious respectful debate between the scribe and Jesus in Mark 12:28-34. One task for the preacher is to preach against the anti-semitic assumptions with which many approach this text.
We mention Michael Fagenblat’s essay “The Concept of Neighbour in Jewish and Christian Ethics” in The Jewish Annotated New Testament, ed. by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler