Linus van Pelt is the resident theologian of the Peanuts cartoon series. In one cartoon, Linus and his sister Lucy are staring out the window watching a downpour. Lucy expressed concern about a potential worldwide flood. Linus assured her that God had promised never to flood the world again. Lucy then said, “You have taken a great load off my mind.” Linus replied, “Sound theology has a way of doing that.”
Though the Book of Ruth bears the title of its principal character, the story of Ruth is really the story of Naomi. Naomi’s hardships during her sojourn in Moab left her in a precarious situation as she prepared to return to Judah. Eventually, Naomi would use her understanding of the culture and the family dynamic of Elimelech’s clan to guide Ruth through the process of being redeemed by a near-kinsman. Before the possibility of this redemption comes to light for the readers of the Book of Ruth, the pain and sorrow of Naomi are made known through her self-description in 1:19-21. Naomi saw herself as being empty and bitter. In spite of her pain, Naomi became the conduit through which God would act to connect Ruth to Boaz (the kindred redeemer) in order to preserve the Messianic hope.
Topics: Scripture Passage
The gospel of Mark is fast paced and full of action. The first 12 verses of chapter two contain a miracle narrative. This narrative also contains Mark’s first controversy between Jesus and the religious leaders of his day. While one could speak to the nature of the miracle or to the nature of the controversy, I see this story as one that speaks to the nature of ministry.