Love trumps the vast sweep of the human story. The texts for next Sunday (November 4) celebrate this reality
Here is a micro-story that becomes a lynch-pin in a wide sweeping arc that embraces Jewish and Christian salvation history. Sharing the fate of many who battle for survival in a world that still experience famine, cross-border xenophobia and the tension between security and personal loyalty, Ruth steps out and takes a risk that we see replicated over and over in today’s refugee movements. Sacrificial allegiance to one another shared in extreme duress has been the mark of many coming through resettlement.
Ruth, a widowed Moabite, pledges allegiance to Naomi’s Israelite deity in her determination to remain with her also widowed mother-in-law. Her demeanour through the remainder of her story carries something of the expression of trust celebrated in this psalm.
The comparison and contrast of the once-for-all sacrifice of the living Christ with the old sacrificial system of Israel continues.
Sometimes the boon is to be found in something old and familiar (like a pair of old slippers). The questing scribe who discovers from Jesus that the most precise interpretation of the Law (in which he is an expert) is “Love God. Love your neighbour as yourself” possibly exhibits an “Aha!” moment of fresh insight. Jesus declares he is not far from the kingdom of God.