This week, we continue our worship series “God is in the House” which invites us to reflect on the ways we engage with God in the different spaces of our lives. We will explore our relationship with the kitchen this week. Now, you may preview our passage for Sunday and think I have gone a little loopy-loo because there is no kitchen in the passage. But you will find bread being broken and shared, and wheat being gathered to be turned into a meal. The essence of the kitchen is present in our passage, even if there is no mixing pot or stove. In our passage, a hungry Ruth finds mercy and nourishment from Boaz, while gathering grain in the field. His gentle but generous sharing can teach us a lot about food preparation and how we break bread with those who don’t have much (food at least) to bring to the table.
I have been on a poetry kick lately, and this week’s passage reminds me of James Oppenheim’s poem, “Bread and Roses”. The poem was written in 1911 and published in American Magazine to celebrate the women’s rights movement. As you prepare for worship, I invite you to read the poem, below, and imagine how we might create space that nurtures with both bread and roses.
Scripture: Ruth 2:1-19
Sermon: “God is in the House: Kitchen”
See you in the pews or across the screen,
“Bread and Roses”
by James Oppenheim
As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!
As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!