The problems of power: First and Second Samuel

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

There are a few carefully selected stories from the two books of Samuel which occur in the lectionary. There is a larger number in those churches which use the continuous Old Testament lectionary. This wider selection is not surprising, as these books tell the story, often quite critically, of the establishment of the Israelite monarchy. They also present a warts-and-all picture of the man who would come to be revered as the ideal king, David of Bethlehem.

King David Playing the Harp (detail), Gerard van Honthorst, 1622, via Wikimedia Commons
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Ruth: casualty of a ruthless lectionary

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

The short story, Ruth, sadly gets no use in the normal Sunday lectionary. It is tempting, following on from the absence of Deborah and Jael (see yesterday’s post), to wonder if the men who compiled the lectionary were giving in to a little bit of unconscious bias against women’s stories!

Jean-François Millet, The Gleaners. Ruth meets her future husband while gleaning.
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