- When reading an ancient story with such significant cultural differences and assumptions, it’s critical to have a good understanding of your own cultural assumptions and the ways in which you see things differently than those in the story. What are some of the basic differences between the culture of Naomi and Ruth, and our Western culture today?
- Think back to a time when you felt more like an outsider than an insider. Anything from a visit to a country where you didn’t speak the language to a party in which you didn’t know anyone but the host. What feelings did this experience bring up? Did you take action, make a comment or react in a specific way, due to these feelings?
- Although the presence and activity of YHWH is not as obvious in Ruth as in other stories from scripture, it is possible to see God at work when paying attention. In the first five verses of chapter one, what do you learn about who YHWH is?
- Hesed is defined as “steadfast love,” a characteristic of YHWH that includes sacrifice, risk and an all-out generosity that staggers most of us. It’s a one-word definition of what Christ did on the cross. As children of God, we are invited to receive God’s hesed and then offer to others. Talk about a time when you experienced God’s hesed and the impact that it had on your life and your capacity to love others.
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