Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Naomi's Praise

Daily Readings
Psalms 116, 117 + Ruth 2 + I Chronicles 16 + Jeremiah 11

Quote of the Day
How shall I repay the LORD for all the good things he has done for me?
Psalm 116:10 BCP

Daily Text: Ruth 2

Lectio What one word or phrase from the Daily Text leaps out at you? ‘Comment’ below.

Naomi’s Praise
Ruth offers to go glean in the barley fields hoping to find someone’s favor and Naomi gives her permission. That first morning she asks and receives permission in a field belonging to a certain Boaz and immediately she finds the favor she seeks. Obviously, his juices begin flowing immediately giving us a pretty good idea of how beautiful this young woman is. By the end of the day she has been fed by Boaz, given a place to glean throughout the harvest and she has gleaned a remarkable, though unknown amount of barley. She goes home and answers Naomi’s questions and Naomi’s response is telling. The day before Naomi is complaining bitterly. But this evening her response is, “Blessed be he by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” And the word ‘kindness’ is our old Hebrew word hesed, steadfast love! Naomi’s bitterness begins to alter from that moment, and the hand of YHWH influences circumstances in directions favorable to our two characters.

How often God does this for us and we fail to see that it is the LORD affecting our circumstances, or if we wonder we put it down to coincidence. It makes one wonder whether or not the ancient view that God brings everything, good and evil, to us is not a more stable way of viewing the circumstances of our lives. At least Naomi did not have to second guess herself. When things were bad—God was responsible; when things turned for the better—God was responsible. Complaint and praise each recognizes the omnipotence and the immanence of God.

Meditatio What would you add to this commentary on the Daily Text? ‘Comment’ below.

Thomas Hood

She stood breast-high amid the corn,
Clasped by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush
Deeply ripened—such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,--
Which were blackest none could tell;
But long lashes veiled a light
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;--
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks.

Sure, I said, Heaven did not mean
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean;
Lay thy sheaf down and come
Share my harvest and my home.

(Alternative poem? Include under ‘comment’ below.)

Oratio Conspire to respond with an act of kindness for someone you encounter today. Make it loving, low key and low risk. Hold a door, clean a car, give a flower, notice the unnoticed, make Christ’s love real. Write your experience below under ‘Comment.’

Contemplatio Enjoy what God is doing through you.


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