Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 11, 2012

Scriptures for November 11th: Ruth 1:1-18; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44; Theme: Giving all that we have to Jesus; Song: Take My Life and Let it Be – UMH 399 Ruth: This is a story of the effects of a failed economy on a family. At one time this family lived happily in Bethlehem (the house of bread). And then tragedy struck as if often does. The family moved away in order to find food and a decent living, when their homeland experienced a drought. And then stable marriages fell apart, when husbands died from the stress of survival. Things were so bad, the mother Naomi (happiness) wanted to change her name to Mara (bitterness). All that was left of their family was three women. Women who had not means to support themselves. One daughter in law goes home to face the shame of returning home after marriage. But Ruth not only clings to her mother in law Naomi, she clings to her lifestyle and her family. Ruth’s faithfulness pays off – she saves the life of both of them. Eventually she remarries and gives birth a son – A son who will become the father of a king. Even though Ruth is a foreigner, she earns her place in the royal family. Surely, if we are faithful God has a place for us too. Mark: With the coming of advent, we come to the end of the year. We also enter into the discussion of end times, the end of life as we know it. Everything will be turned on head. The story of the widow’s mite begins that process. Jesus expects those who support the temple to give money that will support the widows and the orphans. They are the ones who have no place in society and no means to really take care of themselves. Jesus notices that those who have money are not really giving. But the one who is supposed to be supported, stands in line and gives all that she has in order to help others. Sometimes it is not what we have in our hearts, it is what we have in our hearts that determine how we give to God. Questions: what are our stories of living in a failed economy? Does being without money mean that we also live without faith? How does our faith get us through those tough times? How accepting are we of foreigners and those who don’t belong? Is there ever anything that they can do to be accepted? Do we see evidence of the world being turned upside down? How does our love for God affect our willingness to give to help others? Note: Rev. Cross’s sermons can be found online at She also has a personal blog: Reflections on life at Breaking open the scriptures can be found at You can also follow Englewood UMC and Rust UMC on Facebook

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