Thursday, January 31, 2013

gleaning to survive

Good afternoon sisters and brothers,
Today is Rev. Judy Lee Hay's last day at Calvary St. Andrews Presbyterian Church before her retirement. Judy has been at Calvary 40 year, in which time she's been an important part of the revitalization of the Southwedge and of constant work for justice in behalf of the gospel. Judy's been a mentor for many of us and I'll miss her presence at UPT. Please take a moment to give to God for Judy's ministry and to pray for her and for Calvary in this time of transition. May her well-earned retirement be blessed and the congregation find new strength in a new season.

Our reading for today continues the story of Ruth and Naomi. In those days one of the way people in need were supported was by reaping in the fields of those who had land. That meant they would follow the harvesting workers and pick up what they dropped or left behind. God's law also called landowners to leave the corners of their field unharvested to provide further for people in poverty. So Ruth sets out to glean in a nearby field so she and Naomi can survive.

God bless, 

Ruth 2:1-12
Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”

8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?”

11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!”

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