We know this. Almost instinctively, we know this. Genre helps determine what we expect from a story and how we understand that story. We read and react much differently to, say, an issue of National Geographic than we do to an issue of a superhero comic.
Sometimes it only takes a few words for us to instantly know with what type of story we are dealing:
- “Dateline Chicago, August 31, 2018”
- “Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away”
- “Once upon a time…”
We have vastly different expectations for news stories and fairy tales. Yet, many different kinds of stories — that is, many different genres — can interest us, excite us, teach us, or inspire us.
The bible is no different. Biblical stories contain a multitude of genres. Sometimes we forget that. Or worse, sometimes some of us feel we aren’t even allowed to admit that. But it remains true.
In Part 1 of this sermon series on Ruth, I tried to look at the macro view. Here in Part 2, I focus in close, suggesting that the type of story Chapter 2 most resembles is a Romantic Comedy. That sounds a bit ridiculous, I know. But give it a listen and see what you think. My intended point: Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi show us love, kindness, and generosity are how we embody God’s way in the world.
Money quote from Katharine Doob Sakenfeld again: “The story illustrates how loyal action, kindness, and good will produce a surplus that can both break down dividing walls of hostility and open new horizons to shattered lives.”
Oh, and I make fun of sermons a little bit too.