Reflections - Rector's Letter
The Third Sunday after Trinity
For the last three weeks we have been focusing on the book of Ruth in the Old Testament, and today we come to the end. If you have not had a chance to read it yet, please do. It is only 4 chapters long and resonates so much in so many ways with things that are going on at the moment. You can read it at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth+1&version=NRSVA
At the start, Ruth and others are in a dire position, at the end there is hope. As we finish our journey with Ruth, we come to God:
When I felt secure, I said,
‘I shall never be shaken.’
Lord, when you favoured me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
‘What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.’
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you for ever.
We Pray together:
Oh God, maker of mountains,
present in our highest heights and lowest depths,
as we recognise your presence with us here,
help us also to see the life you lead us to.
Drawn from the pit of despair may we stir up dust to sing and make it our delight to dance in praise of you. Amen.
Bible Reading: Ruth 4:13&17
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. … The women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.
When we first meet Ruth she is a childless young widowed foreigner. She sticks with Naomi, despite Naomi’s bitterness, moves to live in a place where she has never been before, humbles herself gleaning the fields for scraps, but discovers God’s faithfulness in unexpected generosity and even love, in this foreign place. In the end she not only finds a new and good home, but becomes foundational as an ancestor of King David and so of Jesus too!
In so many ways recently we have found ourselves gleaning in a place where everything is different and often hard. As we see God’s faithfulness bring Ruth’s story to a good place, how do we picture the good place that he will give us as our lives move forward? Why not give someone a call and think about this together.
We Pray together:
O God of all creation,
Before whom all the flowers of the field bow down, as with gratitude we recognise your provision and possibility for all on earth,
Cloth us in your humble beauty and draw us to the new simplicity that Jesus reveals within us. In Jesus name, Amen.
[Take a moment now to notice God with you in simple silence, then speak your own words to him either silently or out loud.]
Oh gentle God, you cross all the barriers of separation; longing to be near us,
you wipe away our tears,
you shower us with precious gifts;
your comfort soothes away our shame.
May we spread the word that you have spread a table - and that all are welcome at your feast. Amen.
Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer and the Grace together:
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.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, ever more. Amen.
Rev'd Tim Erridge
Parish Priest: Bleadon and Bournville
Tel: 01934 815 404