Sunday, November 8, 2015: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Ruth (3:1-5, 4:13-17)


Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.


>  We only get two weeks of readings from the Book of Ruth.

>  She is purported to be the great-grandmother of King David.

>  Orpah and Ruth were Naomi’s daughter-in-laws.

> The word “feet” is often used as a euphemism for the human genitals. 

>  This is a story of how God works through strange circumstances.

>  These circumstances provide a future for Ruth and a lineage for David.

>  Matthew lists the genealogy of Jesus, but this does not line up with Mark’s version.



Psalm 127


1  Unless the Lord builds the house, *

    their labor is in vain who build it.

2  Unless the Lord watches over the city, *

    in vain the watchman keeps his vigil.

3  It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late; *

    vain, too, to eat the bread of toil,

for he gives to his beloved sleep.

4  Children are a heritage from the Lord, *

   and the fruit of the womb is a gift.

5  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior *

    are the children of one’s youth.

6  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! *

    he shall not be put to shame

when he contends with his enemies in the gate.


>  Everything is in vain except in correspondence with God.

>  The second half of the verses discuss the blessings of children and the dependence on God.

>  It is a Psalm related to the ascent to Jerusalem.

>  The reference to house is referring to the temple.




A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (9:24-28)


Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.


> These verses continue to explore Jesus as the ultimate high priest. 

>  Judgment right after death was a common Jewish belief.

>  With Jesus’ second coming, all who are willing to wait (Jewish, pagan) will be saved.



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (12:38-44)


As Jesus taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”  He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”


> These verses describe a contrast between the poor woman and the scribes. 

>  This is the last scene in Jesus’ public ministry.

>  If you meet someone in the marketplace who knew the Torah better than you, then you should greet them.

>  This was a common sign of respect.

>  “In the treasury” was not the actual treasury but one of thirteen trumpet-shaped boxes.

>  Six of these boxes were used to collect for free will, the rest were for required obligations.

>  This story is actually Mark’s creation – not actual.

>  It gives a contrast to the wealthy contributions vs. sacrificial giving.

>  This then became a preface to Jesus’ suffering as he gives all.

>  From this, Mark created a teaching setting.