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Prepared by Ingrid
WHO WE ARE, AND WHOSE WE ARE
Preparation for Worship
As we prepare ourselves to worship God, let us read these opening responses through twice.
The first time, we think of Ruth, our biblical character for today, who in following Naomi chose a new identity for herself.
Who will be your people?
God’s people will be my people
Where will you go?
Wherever God leads
What are you willing to leave behind?
The second time, we address the questions to ourselves.
May our worship today lead us to a place where all of this may be so.
Song: The greatest thing in all my life
A Prayer of Confession
Forgive us, Lord, when we walk away from you and then wonder where you are.
Forgive us when we fail to see the signs you place along our path.
Forgive us when we are too distracted to revel in the wonder of creation.
Forgive us when we forget who we are and whose we are.
Remind us that we are not a lost, but a found people,
And that there is no place we can go where you are not.
Please read Ruth chapter 3 :
'Ruth and Boaz at the threshing floor'.
We’re now in the third week of our Bible month focus on the book of Ruth. Each week, we have read another chapter of this short book, and explored the story of one of its characters. Today, we consider the story of Ruth herself.
Listen to Kevin's message
Ruth’s story tells us much about families, marriage and inheritance in those times, but there is hitherto little reference to fathers.
Nevertheless, today we celebrate Fathers’ day. We sing a song of the Father who was there for Ruth and Naomi, just as he is here and now for us.
Song: The Father’s song
Grace and peace to you from God our Father, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven:
Who knew us and chose us before the world began; (Eph 1)
Who loves us so much that he calls us his own children; (I Jn 3)
Who has brought us from darkness into light and filled us with his glorious power; (Col 1)
Who has prepared an inheritance for us that will never spoil or fade; (I Pet 1)
Who encourages and strengthens us in every good deed and word; (2 Thess 2)
Who comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others. (2 Cor 1)
This is our God, the ultimate source of all things, and the One for whom we live. (I Cor 8)
As we thank God our father, we pray for fathers throughout the world.
Lord God, it’s not easy being a father today, and so we pray:
for fathers in a society that is constantly redefining their role;
for fathers who stay at home and look after children;
for fathers who have been forced out of their families or away from their children;
for fathers with adult children who must relearn what it means to be a parent.
We pray also for families with fathers who are inadequate, violent, lazy or unkind;
for families where there is no father present at home;
for families in which there seems to be a succession of different ‘fathers’,
making it hard for the children to build lasting relationships or know their true identities.
Whatever their circumstances,
may every family find wholeness and help
as they look to God, the loving Father of us all.
Our Stories: who we are and whose we are:
During Bible Month, as we’ve seen how Ruth’s life-story is shaped by loss, love, faithfulness, obedience, willingness to take risks and many more factors, we’ve been encouraged to reflect on the stories of our own lives. Kevin said in last week’s news-letter, “Each of us will have a story to tell, so time and space will be made for us to remember, to share and to give thanks that God is amongst us.“
This week, Phil Bateman has been invited to share his story. Listen to it here.
Taize chant: a prayer of St Teresa of Avila
The words in their original Spanish.....
Nada te turbe, nada te espante
Quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta
Nada te turbe, nada te espante
Sólo Dios basta
An English translation is:
Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing make you afraid,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience unlocks everything,
whoever has God lacks nothing.
Only God is enough.
St Teresa, also wrote, “Lord, you are closer to me than my own breath, nearer to me than my hands and feet.”
The words to the sung chant are in the Song words section.
A prayerful response
Lord, we rejoice to hear of Phil’s sense that you are walking so closely with him, and we thank you for his faith and his testimony.
We take a time of stillness to reflect on our own story over the past few months, and to remember and be thankful for the times when your presence was clearest to us. Life has been different, but with you, Lord, no territory is “uncharted.”
In these special times,
Thank you that the air has cleared so much that in some parts of India, people can see Everest, 100 miles away, for the first time……
Thank you that with less traffic noise we have heard the birds sing again as we used to hear them when we were children….
Thank you for the release many have experienced from living their lives at a pace too relentless and too punishing …
Lord, we know that, like Everest, you are always there, whether we can see you or not. Help us to divest ourselves of the clamour and the clutter so that we can hear you and see you more closely.
Song: Lord for the years
We ask God’s blessing for the next chapter in the story of our lives:
May the embrace of the Father be the comfort we long for,
The name of the Son be the one on whom we rely.
May the presence of the Spirit be with us every hour,
The Three in One the focus of all we are.
This version of Ps 23 is one to listen to
as it sends us out into the days and week ahead
Song: I am not alone
S O N G W O R D S
The greatest thing in all my life
© 1977 Sparrow Song/ Candle Co Music/World Artist Music Co Inc/ Word Music
The Father's Song
Words and Music : Matt Redman © 2000 Thankyou Music
Nada te turbe
Lord, for the years
'Lord, for the years...’ by Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926).
© Timothy Dudley-Smith in Europe and Africa.
© Hope Publishing Company in the United States of America and the rest of the world.
Tune © Michael Baughen/admin. The Jubilate Group
Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone)
Lyrics: Joshua Sherman, Laurel Taylor, Steven Musso © 2018 People & Songs