Friday, May 16, 2008

Pages from Ruth's Scrapbook, Part 1

May 11, 2008 was a convergence of two key events in the yearly life-cycle of the Church. One was a holiday, one a holy day. The second Sunday of May is always Mother's Day. It is one of the "Big Three" invitations Sundays (Christmas and Easter the other two.) It also is a great day of importance to the ministry of the church in that we support families and mothers.

May 11 was also Pentecost -- the birthday of the Church at the coming of the Holy Spirit. This happened 50 days after the Good Friday/Easter Sunday event at the time of an ancient Jewish holy day. The Bible name for this feast was the Festival of Weeks (7 Weeks after Passover) which celebrated the first reaping of grain during the Spring barley and wheat harvests.

Many preachers and teachers were paralyzed in preparation trying to decide which event to emphasize. There was a lot of philosophical rangling over the priority of marking our time (xpovos) with Christ's time (kaipos) verses impacting people at their point of need, interest or contact. Add to this convergence the Teaching Time series at Faith Community currently focuses on lessons from the life of David. These are some of the internal issues preachers/teachers wrestle with during preparation.

During prayer and preparation time, I found a line connecting these three dots -- the story of Ruth.

First, Ruth is a female ancestor of David. So there is connection one. She was a mother. Connection two. Ruth is read every year by Jews during the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost) because it reveals events surrounding one barley/wheat harvest. Connection three.

A future post will outline the encouragement found in this special May 11 Teaching Time. I just marvel at the interconnectedness of Scripture.

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