November 8, 2015

Pentecost 24   November 8, 2015   (Mark 12:38-42) Ruth 2:1-15, 3:1-5, 4:13-2 ****************************************************************** Our family recently watched again The Fiddler on the Roof, the grand saga of one Jewish family in one small village in Tsarist Russia… A parable also of Jewish life through the ages, in which God is always present, and life is always celebrated as a gift from God, even in the most difficult times… Fiddler on the Roof is one of our daughter’s favorite musicals, so we’ve seen it many times…(I bet many of you remember the movie; because at our Slow Church book reading group last week when we mentioned watching the movie, everyone in the room started singing “If I were a rich man… da-da-da-da-da-da...”) But the scene I love best is where Tevye, the father asks Golde, the mother, “do you love me?” And Golde replies: “Do I love you? Do I love you? For twenty five years I’ve cooked your food… For twenty five years I’ve washed your clothes…Do I love you?” (What kind of question is that?) A reminder true love is seldom about the swept-off-our-feet head-over-heels romantic love we see in most movies. Real-life true love is more like the book of Ruth… Where true love is found mostly in the everyday love of family, friends, neighbors, community…expressed in the everyday labor of love… We began the story of Ruth and Naomi last week – Israelite Naomi, Moabite Ruth; mother-in-law, daughter-in-law. Both of their husbands have died, and Naomi now has set out to return to her ancestral home in Bethlehem of Judea, after at least a decade away. Naomi tells her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, ‘turn back, go home. There’s no future for you with me…’ Orpah does go back. But Ruth says, “Where you go I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people shall be my people. Your God will be my God.” Now Naomi and Ruth have resettled in Bethlehem. Ruth is off to work, gleaning grain in the fields, working hard every day to bring food home for Naomi and herself. Gleaning, meaning gathering what’s left behind by harvesters. The bible says gleaning is always to be permitted for the poor and resident alien, those without land of their own. Gleaning is laborious tiring work, with lots of bending and stooping down and picking up of grain off the ground. And it’s humbling to be identified publically as poor enough to need to glean. But gleaning is a life-saving option for those in need of daily bread….And now… Ruth’s faithfulness in this humble work of gleaning attracts the notice of Boaz, a prosperous landowner, who turns out to be fortuitously a relative of Naomi’s late husband. He’s my candidate for Best Supporting Actor alongside our two very strong lead actresses in this redemption drama – playing the role of a go’el, a biblical term meaning redeemer. Meaning a relative who bails another family member out from slavery, or debt, or both… And… The book of Ruth is a parable of redemption… In which those who show love for others find love and redemption themselves… And…Redemption is soon flourishing… As we watch steadfast love and faithfulness meet and embrace, metaphorically, as Psalm 85 says, also personified, now, in the quiet, courteous, courtship between Ruth...

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Week of November 8, 2015 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Nov. 8th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School 12:30 PM Psalms Reading Group Monday, Nov. 9th: 10:30 AM Aptuxcet Garden Club 7:00 PM Worship Committee Meeting Thursday, Nov. 12th:    1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Saturday, Nov. 14th:    9:00 AM UM Foundation Workshops 11:00 AM Joan Nolan’s Memorial Service Sunday, Nov. 15th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School 12:30 PM Psalms Reading Group CHARGE CONFERENCE: The Church Charge Conference will be on Monday, November 30th at 6:30pm at Cataumet UMC. Cataumet will be providing desserts and beverages. Please plan to join us! On Sunday, December 6 I am inviting children to perform during the offertory. They could play an instrument or sing something. I will help coach them. And please, it doesn’t have to be perfect or long! Please see Kari Fietek for details. If you love to sing, we’d love to welcome you to join the choir. It’s not necessary to be able to read music. Every voice is beautiful! Contact Kari Fietek. BIBLE STUDY THURSDAYS AT 1 PM, Bourne UMC, Perry room. We are reading and discussing the book of Acts. All welcome.  ...

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