Come and Rest

Come and Rest imagines a conversation between two women, Ranah and Ornah. This sets the background for the words of Jesus in Matthew 11.28-30.
Narrator: It was Capernaum, near the market place. Ranah and Ornah, their baskets full of the food they had purchased, were on their way home.
RANAH:I always enjoy going to the markets, Ornah. You meet so many people.
ORNAH:Catch up on the news, too. It's no good just being cooped up in the house, Ranah, is it?
RANAH:I agree. I do hope Miriam's young lad gets better soon.
ORNAH:Doesn't sound too good. There's so much sickness around. It's bad news, really.
RANAH:You know, Ornah, too much thinking about life can get you down.
ORNAH:What was it the Rabbi read out in synagogue last sabbath?
RANAH:You mean about "a time to live and a time to die"?
ORNAH:Yes. "Life is useless, all useless..."
RANAH:Something depressing about that. Even Solomon in all his glory has his down moments.
ORNAH:But it's true to life, Ranah! Just think about it. We've been to the markets today. We go to the well to draw some water. We cook meals for our husbands and hungry children. We sweep the house, tidy up, wash the clothes... and what will tomorrow bring?
RANAH:My husband gets very worried. The taxes to Rome have gone up so much. Our family budget is just so tight. He has work now, and, it seems, will do for some time. But the land has been occupied by the Romans for so long.
ORNAH:I get worried about the widows. We are fortunate with our strong husbands. A widow's life must be so miserable!
RANAH:And what's worse, the tax-collectors don't give them any consideration at all!
ORNAH:Tax-collectors! They only think about themselves. What I would like to see happen to them...
RANAH:Careful, Ornah, we're not supposed to think that about people!
ORNAH:I know, Ranah. And that's the other thing - we can't do anything without feeling guilty!
RANAH:We're supposed to be God's people, but don't deserve to be!
ORNAH:When the Scriptures are read, I feel uncomfortable.
RANAH:Those Pharisees seem to multiply all the rules and make us more uneasy.
ORNAH:True. But I mean I get uncomfortable about what's there, not what's added.
Narrator:Jesus was about. They had heard stories about him. Let's read what he said.
Reader:Matthew 11.28-30.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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