Worship at Home

Worship for 14th June 2020

Sunday 14th June 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s video message has been prepared by Rev Jill Marsh.

This short act of worship is for use while we are unable to attend church.  

For the next few weeks we are following the book of Ruth.  It would be good to read ahead. We also have some study booklets. Please contact the office if you would like to use one.

Let’s settle our hearts & minds to worship.

Download the Family Activities

This is the second of our studies in the book of Ruth.  She goes collecting “spare” grain from the fields and Boaz notices and provides for her.

Opening sentence:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” 

(Lamentations 3:22-23, NRSV)

Hymn: Great is thy faithfulness (Singing the Faith 51)

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 forever 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 thousand beside!

Thomas O. Chisholm (1866–1960), William M. Runyan (1870–1957)

A prayer:

Loving God, we have come to worship you.
Help us to remember that you are here with us.
Help us to worship you
with all our heart and mind and strength;
May we pray to you in faith,
proclaim your praise with gratitude,
and listen to your word with eagerness;
For you alone are eternal God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.  

Amen.

a few moments quiet to reflect

A Prayer of Confession

God of mercy,
Your love for us is strong,
But our love for you is weak.

You call us to follow Jesus,
But we are slow to obey.

You care for all you have made,
But we ignore the needs of others
And misuse your creation.

Forgive us,
And help us to please you
by the way we live;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins,
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Amen.  Thanks be to God.

Bible Reading

1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.

And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favour.’

Naomi said to her, ‘Go ahead, my daughter.’ So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, ‘The Lord be with you!’

‘The Lord bless you!’ they answered.

Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, ‘Who does that young woman belong to?’

The overseer replied, ‘She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, “Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.” She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.’

So Boaz said to Ruth, ‘My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.’

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, ‘Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me – a foreigner?’

11 Boaz replied, ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband – how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.’

13 ‘May I continue to find favour in your eyes, my lord,’ she said. ‘You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant – though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.’

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, ‘Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.’

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, ‘Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.’

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, ‘Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!’

Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. ‘The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,’ she said.

20 ‘The Lord bless him!’ Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. ‘He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.’ She added, ‘That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.’

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, ‘He even said to me, “Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.”’

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, ‘It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.’

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Reflections on Ruth Chapter 2

This week we have two separate reflections on the second chapter of Ruth.

Read Rev Phil Snelson’s reflection below and then watch the video that Rev Jill Marsh has prepared for us.

Please also watch the second YouTube video, it contains a very powerful message.

Reflection: from Ruth chapter 2 – Rev Phil Snelson

In chapter 1 we found Naomi far from home living in another country, bereaved of her husband and two sons.  She heard there was food back home and decided to go back to Bethlehem in Judah.  Feeling low and bitter after much hardship, Naomi returned with one of her two daughters-in-law, Ruth, by her side and they were warmly welcomed.  They arrived at the start of the barley harvest.

After they’d been there a short while, Ruth suggested that she go and gather “scraps” left over from the harvest – perhaps she’d seen others doing the same.  “As it happened” she ended up working in the field of Boaz, a relative of her deceased father-in-law,  who noticed her.

I’m sure you’re aware that particularly in rural villages, news spreads pretty fast, particularly of new people, strangers.  Boaz had heard about Ruth and her support, love and care for his sister-in-law, Naomi, and thanked her.  He also extended his own generous hospitality to Ruth, and even safeguarded her, telling “the lads” not to mess with her!  Let her drink from your water (it would have been expected the other way round, that women should draw water for the men)… Oh and drop a bit extra for her too.

The other things to notice are that Ruth returned home with a full basket, an ‘ephah’, about 4 gallons of grain; enough to feed a woman for a month… after one day!  Secondly that Naomi got very excited about all this generosity and kindness from Boaz, and that he was one of their closest relatives, a kinsman with the right to redeem a widow in the family. (more about this in the next episode!)

The character qualities, including faith, of both Ruth and Boaz bring us example and challenge.  Boaz words to his employees, relatives and others were sensitive to their needs; he offered help willingly, not grudgingly, prepared to take the initiative even though Ruth was a “foreigner” in many people’s eyes.  He did the right thing the right way, as did Ruth in her faithful care for Naomi – God’s love in action through their faith.

May we too bring reflections of the love and compassion of Christ’s love for all, in service to our families, neighbourhoods, and communities individually, and together as His Church in ministry.   (Matthew 5:16)

Reflection: from Ruth chapter 2 – Rev Jill Marsh

Rev. Jill Marsh, district Mission Enabler for the Northampton Methodist District, joins us with her reflection this week. Jill emailed to say:

“Thanks for inviting me to join you. In my reflection on Ruth chapter 2 I’ve been thinking about links with the Black Lives Matter campaign for racial justice. This is an important but complex issue and if any of you have responses to what I’ve said please do contact me at jill.marsh@methodist.org.uk to have a conversation… or more helpfully talk with your colleagues and friends locally, by whatever means you can. Blessings on your reflecting together.”

Here’s an interesting video clip to help us think about privilege and disadvantage. Jill mentions it in her recorded address.

Prayer time:
Loving God, we give you thanks for your care and compassion for us.  We thank you for those who have shown such kindness and support to us, thinking especially of …

We pray for people in need at this time, those most personally affected by the Covid-19 outbreak: the bereaved, those seriously ill, those who have already lost their jobs…

We thank you for all those “on the front line”, praying particularly for Foodbank ministries, people keeping our supplies going, as well as shop workers, the emergency services and all in care professions including NHS staff (pray for those whom you know personally)

We pray for the Church of Jesus Christ as together we seek to witness to the love and care of God in word and action for people of all races and nationalities…

and for yourself and your family.

The Lord's Prayer

Please use the version that you prefer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

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.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.

Amen.

Hymn: Blessèd be Your name (Singing the Faith 41)

Blessèd be your name
In the land that is plentiful,
Where Your streams of abundance flow,
Blessèd be Your name.
And blessèd be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place,
Though I walk through the wilderness,
Blessèd be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out I’ll
Turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say:

Blessèd be the name of the Lord,
Bless
èd be Your name.
Bless
èd be the name of the Lord,
Bless
èd be Your glorious name.

Blessèd be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me,
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’,
Blessèd be Your name.
And blessèd be Your name
On the road marked with suffering,
Though there’s pain in the offering,
Blessèd be Your name.

You give and take away,
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say:
Lord, blessèd be Your name.

Matt & Beth Redman

The Grace:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, evermore, Amen.

The message by Rev’d Jill Marsh.

Order of service & leaflet formatting – Rev’d Phil Snelson

Webpage layout – Paul Deakin