We’re In This Together

Proper 26, Year B, Old Testament
Scripture: Ruth 1:1-18

As we head to our journey’s simultaneous ending and new beginning, Ruth and Naomi set out across the desert on their own path. The journey they are undertaking is the rebranding of their relationship: from mother and daughter-in-law to partners and friends. Ruth’s refusal to leave the side of her mother-in-law was social suicide. Ruth chose family and love over the chance for familiarity and comfort. It is important to note that Ruth is a Moab. In the Hebrew Scriptures there isn’t really a worse thing to be than a Moabite. In Deuteronomy we learn that the Moabites were not allowed to ever convert to Judaism. Marrying a Moabite was out of the question. The author of Ruth states over and over again that Ruth is a Moabite because it is essential to understand that when Ruth returns to Judah with Naomi, she is traveling to a place that despises her because of her heritage. In choosing Naomi, Ruth chooses the God of the Hebrews over the gods of her ancestors. Ruth chooses the unknown and possibly dangerous over the safe and predictable. This section of the text sets us up to begin the journey with these two women over the next couple of weeks and begs the question: would I have the strength to follow if God called me into the unknown?

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LPTW Proper 26, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Proper 26, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament

Love God, Neighbor, and Self

Season after Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Proper 26, Year B
Scripture: Mark 12:28-34

The question from the scribes this week is not meant to be one to challenge or trip Jesus up. Rather, it is common in Jewish tradition to ask if there is a way to summarize commandments. Jesus, in turn, gives a rather traditional answer, siting Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might) and Leviticus 19:18 (You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord). Jesus uses these two passages as a foundation for becoming a whole person of God. For Jesus, these are the core texts of faith and belief.

Download the lesson plans for Proper 26

LPTW Proper 26, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Proper 26, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Proper 26, Year B, Adults
LPTW Proper 26, Year B, All