Welcome to our home worship sheets. We’re continuing to think about hospitality and today we are looking at the Old Testament story of Ruth. Let us pray together as we start.
Lord God we thank you for this new day. We thank you for the opportunity to gather around these sheets and to remind ourselves of your love for us. Help us to know your presence with us and to focus our minds and hearts on you alone. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Praise the LORD! Yes, give praise, O servants of the LORD.
Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD now and forever.
Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the LORD.
For the LORD is high above the nations; His glory is higher than the heavens.
Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high?
He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes, even the princes of His own people!
He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.
Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113:1-9)
Our first song reminds us that God calls us from all corners of the world to follow Him. Let’s sing/read/listen to our first song “Far and near hear the call” (Source 90) To listen on YouTube click here
Far and near hear the call,
Worship him, Lord of all;
Families of nations come,
Celebrate what God has done.
Deep and wide is the love
Heaven sent from above;
God’s own son for sinners died,
Rose again, he is alive.
Say it loud, say it strong,
Tell the world what God has done;
Say it loud, praise his name,
Let the earth rejoice
For the Lord reigns.
At his name let praise begin,
Oceans roar, nature sing.
For he comes to judge the earth
In righteousness and in his truth.
1996 Make Way Music
Thanksgiving: Think of three things you are grateful for that you want to say thank you to God about. Let us use them as we give thanks in prayer.
Generous Father God, we thank you for the many blessings you have given us. Thinking back over our week and our lives we want to thank you for … and … and … .
Thank you as well for your never ending love for us. Thank you for the love you have for us that we can see in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Thank you that through Jesus we can know you more and we can know more about your love and forgiveness for us. We thank you and praise you because this is wonderful.
We thank you as well for the material blessings and skills you have given us and for the opportunities we have to use them and give them back for the building of your kingdom. Help us Lord to use wisely what we collect as a church and keep as individuals, that through all your love and goodness might be proclaimed. Help us to bring you glory through all that we do, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Before we are going to read our bible reading today and think about what it means for us today we’re going to sing “Speak Lord in the stillness”. It is a prayer to invite God to speak to us and feed us. Let us sing/read/listen together. Click here for the song on YouTube
Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
speak your word to me;
help me now to listen
Speak, O gracious Master,
in this quiet hour;
let me see your face, Lord,
feel your touch of power.
For the words you give me
they are life indeed;
living bread from heaven,
now my spirit feed.
Speak, your servant listens,
I await your word;
let me know your presence;
let your voice be heard!
Fill me with the knowledge
of your glorious will;
all your own good pleasure
in my life fulfil.
Emily M. Crawford (1864-1927)
Reading (Ruth 2:1-19):
Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favour.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6 The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9 Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10 Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favour in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11 But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 13 Then she said, “May I continue to find favour in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.”
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15 When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
I am sure that we’ve all experienced a different culture at some time or another. We’ve all been abroad, or in different parts of the UK, where we’ve met the locals and experienced some of their culture. Some of us have moved from these different places and cultures and now find ourselves in this part of the world. If we were to trace our roots back far enough we would discover that we descend from people who immigrated to this land. These days you can have your DNA analysed to determine how much Norman or Saxon or other you are. And over the years people from different parts of the world and different cultures have been brought to this land to work for us as either free or slaves, actually our economy is build upon it. We are a migrant people, I (Remco) am an immigrant, and if we look closely we all have come from different places and cultures and find ourselves here.
The story of Ruth is also a story of immigration. Initially Naomi and her husband Elimelech fled to the land of Moab as refugees. There was a famine in Israel and they left to look for a better life elsewhere. Their two sons married local girls who then became part of the family. Unfortunately, Naomi’s husband and sons all died, leaving her with the two foreign women in a foreign land. At that time women on their own didn’t have any rights or say, especially without a family to provide for them or protect them, so Naomi decided to go back home. Ruth decided to stay with Naomi, while her sister-in-law returned to her own people. This is where we’ve picked up the story today. Ruth loves her mother in law and decides to go out to glean grain in the field of Boaz, a relative of Elimelech, Naomi’s late husband. Now, there was a custom at the time, which was actually also written into the laws of the people of Israel (Leviticus 19:9, 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:19), that the edges of the field and the harvest that was dropped would be left for the poor and the foreigner and the widows. Deuteronomy 24 verse 18 and 19 explain it like this: “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all your undertakings.”
Ruth finds herself protected by Boaz, even before he works out who she really is. And Ruth ends up getting married to Boaz and giving him a child called Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse and Jesse was the father of King David. Through the hospitality Ruth received, through the way she was looked after, not just by Naomi, but also by the people of Israel, Ruth became a vital part of the story of Israel. Ruth the Moabite, the foreigner became the great-grandmother of the great king David.
So, when we think about hospitality and how we respond to enormous and unfathomable love we have been shown by God. When we think about the hospitality God has shown to the people of Israel, and to us by calling us His sons and daughters, His beloved, how can we respond? I believe that the only appropriate response is to show this hospitality and love to anyone who needs it. To anyone who comes to us for help or a place to call home. We were once lost and slaves to sin. God came to set us free, to make us his own children, to share his love and goodness, his grace and mercy. And we can’t repay Him, or earn more of it, all we can do choose to live in his glorious generosity and learn to pass it on to those the world would rather forget about.
- The people of Israel didn’t think much of the Moabites (see Deuteronomy 23:3 & 6) so why was Boaz so kind to Ruth?
- Research shows that people with black or brown skin or foreign names are treated less favourably by employers, courts, health and education providers in the UK. How can God’s people be part of bringing justice for these people?
- How does our understanding of God impact on our approach to hospitality?
Let us take a moment to be still and listen to God.
Take a moment now to bring our concerns to God. Let’s pray for:
Our world……..Our country…………Our Community…….Our family
Let’s bring those who need God’s particular help to him now……
Let’s close by sharing the Lord’s prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom,
the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
We’re going to listen/read/sing our final song that reminds us about God’s great faithfulness and love “Great is thy Faithfulness” (Source 138).
To find it on YouTube please click here
Great is thy faithfulness,
O God my Father,
there is no shadow
of turning with thee;
thou changest not,
thy compassions they fail not;
as thou hast been,
thou for ever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning
new mercies I see;
all I have needed,
thy hand hath provided
great is thy faithfulness,
Lord unto me!
Summer and winter,
and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars
in their courses above,
join with all nature
in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness,
mercy and love.
Pardon for sin
and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence
to cheer and to guide;
strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine,
with ten thousands beside!
Thomas O. Chisholm
1951 Hope Publishing Company
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore, Amen