Mark 12:28-34 (NRSV)
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and “to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
Psalm 90:1-17 (The Message)
God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, Long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come” – you are God.
So don’t return us to mud, saying, “Back to where you came from!”
Patience! You’ve got all the time in the world – whether a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you. Are we no more to you than a wispy dream, no more than a blade of grass that springs up gloriously with the rising sun and is cut down without a second thought?
Your anger is far and away too much for us; we’re at the end of our rope.
You keep track of all our sins; every misdeed since we were children is entered in your books. All we can remember is that frown on your face. Is that all we’re ever going to get?
We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty), And what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard. Who can make sense of such rage, such anger against the very ones who fear you?
Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God – how long do we have to wait? – and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times; we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at – the ways you rule and bless your children. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!
Ruth 2:1-13 and 4:13-22 (The Message)
It so happened that Naomi had a relative by marriage, a man prominent and rich, connected with Elimelech’s family. His name was Boaz.
One day Ruth, the Moabite foreigner, said to Naomi, “I’m going to work; I’m going out to glean among the sheaves, following after some harvester who will treat me kindly.”
Naomi said, “Go ahead, dear daughter.”
And so Ruth set out. She went and started gleaning in a field, following in the wake of the harvesters. Eventually she ended up in the part of the field owned by Boaz, her father-in-law Elimelech’s relative. A little later, Boaz came out from Bethlehem, greeting his harvesters, “God be with you!”
They replied, “And God bless you!”
Boaz asked his young servant who was foreman over the farm hands, “Who is this young woman? Where did she come from?”
The foreman said, “Why, that’s the Moabite girl, the one who came with Naomi from the country of Moab. She asked permission. ‘Let me glean,’ she said, ‘and gather among the sheaves following after your harvesters.’ She’s been at it steady ever since, from early morning until now, without so much as a break.”
Then Boaz spoke to Ruth: “Listen, my daughter. From now on don’t go to any other field to glean – stay right here in this one. And stay close to my young women. Watch where they are harvesting and follow them. And don’t worry about a thing; I’ve given orders to my servants not to harass you. When you get thirsty, feel free to go and drink from the water buckets that the servants have filled.”
She dropped to her knees, then bowed her face to the ground. “How does this happen that you should pick me out and treat me so kindly – me, a foreigner?”
Boaz answered her, “I’ve heard all about you – heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers. God reward you well for what you’ve done – and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings.”
She said, “Oh sir, such grace, such kindness – I don’t deserve it. You’ve touched my heart, treated me like one of your own. And I don’t even belong here!”
Boaz married Ruth. She became his wife. Boaz slept with her. By God’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son.
The town women said to Naomi, “Blessed be God! He didn’t leave you without family to carry on your life. May this baby grow up to be famous in Israel! He’ll make you young again! He’ll take care of you in old age. And this daughter-in-law who has brought him into the world and loves you so much, why, she’s worth more to you than seven sons!”
Naomi took the baby and held him in her arms, cuddling him, cooing over him, waiting on him hand and foot. The neighborhood women started calling him “Naomi’s baby boy!” But his real name was Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.
This is the family tree of Perez: Perez had Hezron, Hezron had Ram, Ram had Amminadab, Amminadab had Nahshon, Nahshon had Salmon, Salmon had Boaz, Boaz had Obed, Obed had Jesse, and Jesse had David.