Every morning the URC sends out a Daily Devotion consisting of a reading, short reflecting and prayer written by a range of people from different places and perspectives within the URC. Recently we have been taking a journey through the Epistle to the Galatians.
Our next series is on the Book of Ruth. This book is much loved and the famous line from Ruth accepting Naomi’s God and people has her own was often used as part of the marriage liturgy.
The story of the Moabite, Ruth, David’s great grandmother is surprisingly racy. It shows the difficulty in Levirate marriage where a close relation was to marry a widow to ensure the dead husband’s line continued (an obscure practice that came to prominence in 16th Century England with Henry VIII’s desire to end his first marriage.) Ruth catches the eye of her relative, Boaz, and Naomi ensures that Ruth offers herself to Moab who then wishes to marry her – a slight complication of a closer relative, is swiftly dealt with.
The book has layers of meaning – is it a political parable of welcoming the outsider to counter the policies of Ezra and Nehemiah in post exilic Israel? Is it about the dignity of labour? Powerful love between women? Or, perhaps, is it about the evils of patriarchy? Perhaps there are as many layers of meaning as there are people and communities of readers. We hope you find the series useful.
If you’d like to read old Devotions or sign up to receive them each morning please go to devotions.urc.org.uk
Coordinator, Daily Devotions from the URC Project