Men are incredibly important to the unfolding story of God’s interaction with the world as we experience it in the Bible. The twelve disciples and the monarchs of Israel are men. The twelve tribes of Israel are named after sons, the prophetic books are all identified with men, and then there’s the small detail that Jesus is a man. Yep, men are really important, thanks be to God!
But it is rather astounding that in the male-dominated, patriarchal societies from which these books came, women are not silent! At times it may feel like hearing a female voice in our most holy book is as impossible as an on-time flight, but one book stands out as a champion of the female faith experience: the book of Ruth. As Old Testament scholar Patricia K. Tull states, “the tiny book of Ruth devotes more verses to speech between women than the rest of the Bible combined.”1 So hold on, ladies, Sunday is a day to shine!
In worship this Sunday we’ll hear two extraordinary female voices – Ruth and Naomi. In the midst of the expansive story of God’s interaction with the world we’ll experience the story of two women struggling with identity, purpose, hope and love. They will be faced with circumstances that are nearly insurmountable. In the end their strength, perseverance, creativity and hard work open up opportunities that had been impossible. God will be at work in the subtle nuances of their story and see them through as much as God has with anyone.
What will God give us through these women? How will God inspire you?
See you Sunday…
1 “Esther and Ruth” Interpretation Bible Studies. Westminster John Knox Press 2003, p. 54.