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If you tell the story of King David, Israel’s most celebrated ruler, and if you describe his ancestry, you have to include a foreign woman, a Moabite named Ruth. Through her selfless de­vo­tion, Ruth became an indispensable link in the succes­sion. In Matthew 1, the genealogy finally includes Jesus.
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Fill me, O God, with a heart and arms that enfold and embrace, so that I too may receive your blessing! Amen.


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Lectionary Week
November 5–11, 2018
Scripture Overview

Ruth’s story forms part of the background of the family of Jesus. The son of Ruth and Boaz, Obed, is David’s grandfather. The women of Bethlehem rejoice with Naomi at the birth of her grandson, and the psalmist declares that children are a blessing from God. In the scriptures children are spoken of only as a blessing, never as a liability (unlike some narratives in our culture). The Hebrew writer builds upon the eternal nature of Christ’s sacrifice, proclaiming that his death was sufficient once for all. In Mark, Jesus warns his disciples not to be fooled by appearances. Those who put on a big show of piety do not impress God. God wants us instead to give from the heart, even if no one but God sees.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17. How has your life been enriched through the diversity of people around you?
• Read Psalm 127. How do you actively ensure the shaping of your household around godly practice?
• Read Hebrews 9:24-28. What spiritual income do you draw upon to keep your faith and hope alive?
• Read Mark 12:38-44. How do you guard against duplicitous living?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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Prepare to kneel at the manger . . .

"It takes time to get our souls, our churches, our houses, and ourselves ready for a major celebration. It takes attention to detail if we intend to gather the elements that will call to mind the first Nativity." Join us online or buy the book.