Day 233 – August 21
Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I seek security for you, so that things might go well for you? 2 Now isn’t Boaz, whose young women you were with, our relative? Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor. 3 You should bathe, put on some perfume, wear nice clothes, and then go down to the threshing floor. Don’t make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, notice the place where he is lying. Then go, uncover his feet, and lie down. And he will tell you what to do.”
5 Ruth replied to her, “I’ll do everything you are telling me.” 6 So she went down to the threshing floor, and she did everything just as her mother-in-law had ordered.
7 Boaz ate and drank, and he was in a good mood. He went over to lie down by the edge of the grain pile. Then she quietly approached, uncovered his legs, and lay down. 8 During the middle of the night, the man shuddered and turned over—and there was a woman lying at his feet. 9 “Who are you?” he asked. She replied, “I’m Ruth your servant. Spread out your robe over your servant, because you are a redeemer.”
10 He said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter! You have acted even more faithfully than you did at first. You haven’t gone after rich or poor young men. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I’ll do for you everything you are asking. Indeed, my people—all who are at the gate—know that you are a woman of worth. 12 Now, although it’s certainly true that I’m a redeemer, there’s a redeemer who is a closer relative than I am. 13 Stay the night. And in the morning, if he’ll redeem you—good, let him redeem. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, then—as the LORD lives—I myself will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
Comment: there is enough innuendos in this chapter to keep confirmands squiggling with discomfort. The references to sleep, uncover, and feet all have intentional double meanings tilting toward scandal. Ruth puts herself at risk for her family. Boaz recognizes this and honors Ruth for the deep connection with the women of Israel who kept the family safe and strong.
Gospel of Luke 5:1-11
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. 13 Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. 14 So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
15 All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16 However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.
17 Keep on imitating me, my friends. Pay attention to those who follow the right example that we have set for you. 18 I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears: there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ’s death on the cross. 19 They are going to end up in hell, because their god is their bodily desires. They are proud of what they should be ashamed of, and they think only of things that belong to this world. 20 We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. 21 He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.
Prayer: we rise by your Light, dear Lord, and rely on your power this day. Amen.