October 31, 2021

B49: The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B (2021)

Carla Pratt Keyes

The poem, “Home,” by Warsan Shire, a British writer born to Somali parents in Kenya begins, “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark.” The poem continues, “You have to understand,/that no one puts their children in a boat/unless the water is safer than the land.” In today’s sermon from Ruth 1:1-18, Carla Pratt Keyes, pastor of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, compares the journey in Shire’s poem to the journey in the book of Ruth. “NO ONE walks toward the territory of MOAB. It was a place they believed to be hostile, even God-forsaken. NO ONE takes their children to MOAB unless home will not let them stay, and they have nowhere else to go.” Keyes says of the events in the book of Ruth, “The narrator knows that sometimes, God is most powerfully at work when we are least inclined to believe it.”

Manuscript available: click HERE