Latest Episodes

Year B, Ordinary 32 (Proper 27, Pentecost +25), 2018 – The Fate of Widows

November 8, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Ordinary Time

Welcome back! We’re almost at the end of this cycle, which is amazing, since it seems like we only began it a year ago. Wait…

After the turn of the lectionary year, we’ll be altering the format of the show a bit. We are planning to dive deeper into the intelligences; defining and demonstrating two of them each week. David will take one and I’ll take one and we’ll apply them to the lectionary selections. We hope that by doing this, you’ll get more options for your preaching and worship.

For this week, we have three texts that – again – don’t seem to have much contact. The book of Ruth ends with the widowed Naomi finding restoration and fulfillment as Ruth and Boaz marry and have a son, Obed. Through a great deal of planning (some might say scheming), this widow finds a happy ending. In Hebrews, the author continues to assert Jesus’ superiority over old forms. In today’s passage, he does it through being the perfect sacrifice. In Mark, Jesus’ collegial relationship with last week’s scribe falls by the wayside as he watches how the scribes parade themselves to the detriment of widows. It’s entirely possible that this widow, in sacrificing everything, will leave the temple to go starve to death. That can be the fate for the poor and dispossessed around the world even today. How does Jesus’ perfect sacrifice impact them, then?


This week’s texts are:

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 [01:58]

Today’s passage in Ruth begins with Naomi looking beyond her own devastation to find some security for Ruth. Of course, this also means she will have a safety net, too, but let’s go ahead and jump on board Naomi’s generosity. She knows about a kinsman who might just be able to get them out of the very tight spot in which they are dwelling, if he is willing. She gives Ruth some instructions to which she is very open – and then we jump all of it! David thinks this is where the Lectionary committee practiced some “yada, yada, yada” storytelling, a la Seinfeld. We have a link to this in WORD smart. The birth of Obed at the end of the book makes it onto the ceiling of the Sistine chapel! We have a link in EYE smart. In the section that does not make the committee’s cut, there are some legalities that we may not know, so we linked to them for MATH smart. The entire story begins with hunger and famine, so we have a link to a hunger organization for BODY smart. The women at the end of the book may have sung songs of praise and we have a wonderful melody from Taize in MUSIC smart. The purpose of this book is to anchor King David’s ancestry – maybe like an ancient DNA test? We have a link to a modern one in NATURE smart. Finally, for PEOPLE smart, the decisions Naomi and Ruth make could have turned out very very differently. But when you are out of options, you hope for the best. 

  • Smarts – Word [5:00], Eye [07:38], Math [08:39], Body [09:35], Music [10:37], Nature [11:17], People [12:25]
  • Ruth 3-4 worksheet
  • Links in Ruth 


Hebrews 9:24-28 [14:17]

We begin in EYE smart with verse 24, especially the part about “a mere copy”. This got David to thinking about virtual reality. The author is making the case that Jesus went into THE sanctuary, not a fake one. We stay with the VR comparison for MATH smart and add last week’s a fortiori argument. The author is now making a case for Jesus’ self sacrifice over animal sacrifice but we have a link in NATURE smart about it, anyway. Sacrifice is the point of these verses and in PEOPLE smart, we suggest some modern occupations that hold the risk of people giving their lives for the greater good.

  • Smarts – Eye [15:12], Math [17:16], Nature [20:05], People [21:10]
  • Hebrews 9 worksheet
  • Links in Hebrews


Mark 12:38-44[24:39]

We start off in EYE smart with some comparisons so if you still have it, bring out your scales! If you don’t have a scales, we have a link to make one! In MATH smart, we have a comparison to different types of taxes. The passage is not clear that the widow is paying a tax, but it has sometimes been interpreted that way. For MUSIC smart, we came across a fantastic lectionary website called The Work of the People. Go check it out! The scribes are often portrayed as villains so in PEOPLE smart, we offer an old melodrama. Even though Jesus and a scribe came to a meeting of the minds last week, that is not true this week. He sees how they adorn themselves and has a few things to say about it. We do, too, in SELF smart.


Image Credit: Mykhaylo Palinchak. Used by permission.


Tags: , ,

Comments are currently closed.

%d bloggers like this: