Worship for Sunday 28th June 2020, Bible Month Week four

Thank you to all the local preachers who have arranged our services for Bible Month and the story of Ruth this year. They have been enlightening and interesting and I’m sure we have all learned a lot from the reflections of our local preachers.  Thank you.  

Rev. Sue Williams


Call to Worship

Welcome to the family

there’s room for all who enter.

Welcome to the feast

for this is a place of God’s great abundance.


God is calling you today.

Help us to hear God’s call in our lives.

God needs your talents, gifts and graces to help others.

May we use the blessings, which God has given us to benefit others.


Come, let us worship and celebrate God’s love for us.

Let us show our faithfulness in our words and actions.

In the holy and loving name of Jesus we pray. Amen.


STF 51: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

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 will 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.


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.


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!


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.

Thomas O, Chisholm (1866-1960)


Prayer of Approach

Holy God, we gather together in Your presence

with gratitude and praise

for all that You have done for us.

Your faithful love toward us never ends!

that You are our God, and we are Your people.


May the presence of Your Holy Spirit inspire our worship.

Opening our eyes to the light of Your presence wherever we live.

May our thoughts and prayers, even our very lives,

bring honour and glory to You.


This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ,

Faithful, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,

Whose death and resurrection have brought us everlasting life. Amen.


Prayer of Adoration

Glorious God! to You alone belong Glory, Honour and Praise.

You alone are worthy of Adoration from every mouth,

and every tongue shall sing your Praise.


You are the Redeemer, Sustainer and Salvation;

You save the human race in Your mercy,

and renew it through Your Grace.


We declare our affection, adoration and praise for You.

Lord we praise and adore You, and we lift up You high.

Because in You alone we find strength and hope.


To You, loving God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be all Glory, Honour and Praise,

Now and forever. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (A Responsive Prayer)

Let us pray! Loving Father in Your mercy          Forgive and deliver us.


We confess, O God,

when something we have done or left undone

or said or left unsaid causes harm or hurt to another.

Loving Father in Your mercy                    Forgive and deliver us.


We confess, our carelessness with our words

and our inattention to our actions.

Have Mercy on us when we blame others

instead of taking responsibility for our own actions.

Loving Father in your mercy                    Forgive and deliver us.


Give us your Grace when we do not stand up

and speak out for those who have no voice.

Loving Father in Your mercy                    Forgive and deliver us.


Help us to become thoughtful, loving people,

intent on living the way You have called us

to live and serve in the way

You have called us to serve. Amen.


Prayer of Forgiveness

Almighty God forgive us

through the Grace of Jesus Christ

and the Power of the Holy Spirit.


Set us free from the grip of sin and evil,

from attitudes and actions

that do not lead to life.


Forgive us Lord!

We need Your Forgiveness. Amen.


Prayer of Assurance

We will trust in Your unfailing love; O God.

We will rejoice because You have rescued us!

We will sing to the Lord,

because He has been so Good to us.


Good News, everybody!

In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

Now we are free to choose life,

and to use our lives to bring Honour and Glory to God!


Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Amen.


Introduction to the reading:

We are going to continue our journey through the story of Ruth, we understand that one cannot study this final chapter 4 without seeing the centrality of Boaz, the redeemer, as the only resolution of the problems faced by Ruth and Naomi. He takes the initiative in bringing about the act of redemption. He pays the price. He publicly claims his own. And now we read:


Bible Reading:   Ruth 4:1-22 NIV

Boaz Marries Ruth

[1] Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

[2] Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. [3] Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. [4] I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

[5] Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

[6] At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

[7] (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

[8] So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

[9] Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. [10] I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

[11] Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. [12] Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

The Genealogy of David

[13] So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. [14] The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! [15] He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

[16] Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. [17] The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

[18] This, then, is the family line of Perez:

Perez was the father of Hezron,

[19] Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab,

[20] Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

[21] Salmon the father of Boaz,

Boaz the father of Obed,

[22] Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.


STF 58: Lord, I come before Your throne of grace;

Lord, I come before Your throne of grace;

I find rest in Your presence

and fulness of joy.

In worship and wonder

I behold Your face,

singing what a faithful God have I.


What a faithful God have I,

What a faithful God.

What a faithful God have I,

Faithful in every way.


Lord of mercy, You have heard my cry;

through the storm You’re the beacon,

my song in the night.

In the shelter of Your wings,

hear my heart’s reply,

singing what a faithful God have I.


What a faithful God have I,

What a faithful God.

What a faithful God have I,

Faithful in every way.


Lord all sovereign, granting peace from heaven,

let me comfort those who suffer

with the comfort You have given.

I will tell of Your great love for as long as I live,

singing what a faithful God have I.


What a faithful God have I,

What a faithful God.

What a faithful God have I,

Faithful in every way.


Robert Critchley (b. 1959) and Dawn Critchley (b. 1965)


Reflection on Ruth 4: There is a “Redeemer”.

When someone says, “Let me tell you about my mother-in-law,” we expect some kind of negative statement or anecdote. That’s because the mother-in-law caricature has often been used in humour and comedy. The book of Ruth, however, tells a different story. Ruth loved her mother-in-law Naomi. Recently widowed, Ruth begged to stay with Naomi wherever she went. Naomi agreed, and Ruth travelled with her to Bethlehem.

Not much is said about Naomi except that she loved and cared for Ruth. Obviously, Naomi’s life was a powerful witness to the reality of God. Ruth was drawn to her – and to the God she worshiped. In the succeeding months as the story progressed, God led this young Moabite widow to a man named Boaz through Naomi. And he said, “Although it is true that I am a guardian – redeemer of our family, but there is another who is more closely related than I”.

Boaz knew he could find his nearest relative at the town gate. This was the centre of activity in Ruth chapter 4. No one could enter or leave the town without traveling through the gate. Merchants set up their temporary shops near the gate, which also served as “city hall.” Here city officials gathered to transact business. With so much activity, this was a good place to find witnesses and an appropriate place for Boaz to make his transaction.

Boaz cleverly presented his case to the nearest relative (kinsman-redeemer or guardian-redeemer). First time, he brought in new information not yet mentioned in the story. Elimelech, Naomi’s former husband, still had some property in the area that was now for sale. As the nearest relative, this man had the first right to buy the land, which he agreed to do. But then Boaz said that according to the law, if the relative bought the property, he also had to marry Ruth the Moabite, the dead man (Mahlon’s) widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property. At this stipulation, the relative backed down. He did not want to complicate his inheritance. He may have feared that if he had a son through Ruth, some of his estate would transfer away from his family to the family of Elimelech. Whatever his reason, the way was now clear for Boaz to marry Ruth. As a result, she became the great-grandmother of David and an ancestor in the line of the Messiah. What a profound impact Naomi’s life made!

The story of Ruth teaches us that the God’s grace is available in the midst of difficult circumstances. Even in times of crisis and deepest despair what we are facing through this pandemic, there are peoples who follow God and through whom God works. No matter how discouraging or antagonistic the world may seem, there are always people who follow God. He will use anyone who is open to him to achieve his purposes. Ruth was a Moabite, and Boaz was a descendant of Rahab, a former prostitute from Jericho. Nevertheless, their offspring continued the family line through which the Messiah would come into our world.

Boaz, as family redeemer, was also following the levirate practice since Ruth’s former husband had no living brothers. The descendants of Perez made Judah a prominent tribe. Boaz, David, and all the Judean kings were descendants of Perez. The story of Naomi and Ruth shows that they left a legacy of faith and devotion that impacted David’s life, four generations later. If you benefit from a legacy of faith in your family, make sure to foster it and pass it on. If you are starting a legacy of faith in your family, cultivate it wholeheartedly so it will continue.

God brought great blessings out of Naomi’s tragedy, even greater than “seven sons” (an abundance of heirs). Throughout her tough times, Naomi continued to trust God. And God, in his time, blessed her greatly. Even in our sorrow and calamity, God can bring great blessings. When tragedy strikes, remember Naomi, and have faith in God to provide what you need. It’s easy to ask, How can God allow this to happen to me? But instead, trust him. He will be with you in the hard times.

Ruth’s love for her mother-in-law was known and recognized throughout the town of Bethlehem. From the beginning of the book of Ruth to the end, Ruth’s faithfulness, kindness and integrity toward others and her devotion to family remained unchanged.

Therefore, Ruth’s life and her story teaches us five things.

  1. Faithfulness

Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi as a daughter-in-law and friend is a great example of love and loyalty. Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz were faithful to God and his laws. Throughout the story, we see God’s faithfulness to his people. Ruth’s life was guided by faithfulness to God, which showed in her loyalty toward the people she knew. When we are loyal and loving in our relationships, we are imitating God’s faithfulness with others.

  1. Kindness

Ruth showed great kindness to Naomi. In turn, Boaz showed kindness to Ruth – a despised Moabite woman with no money. God showed his kindness to Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz by bringing them together for his purposes. As Boaz showed his kindness by buying back land to guarantee Ruth and Naomi’s inheritance, Christ showed his kindness by dying for us on the cross to guarantee our eternal life. God’s kindness should motivate us to love and honour him and to show kindness to others.

  1. Integrity

Ruth showed high moral character by being loyal to Naomi, by her clean break from her former land and customs, and by her hard work in the fields. Boaz showed integrity in his moral standards and honesty by following through on his commitments. When we have experienced God’s faithfulness and kindness, we should respond by acting with integrity. Just as Ruth and Boaz lived by values that were in sharp contrast to those of the culture portrayed in the book of Judges, we should stand out from the world around us and show integrity.

  1. Protection

We see God’s care and protection over the lives of Naomi and Ruth. His supreme control over circumstances brought them safety and security. He guides the minds and activities of people to fulfil his purposes. No matter how devastating our present situations may be, our hope is in God. His resources are infinite. He can work in the life of any person, whether that person is a king or a stranger in a foreign land. Trust his protection.

  1. Prosperity / Blessings

Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem as poor widows, but they soon became prosperous through Ruth’s marriage to Boaz. Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David. Yet the greatest blessing was not the money, the marriage, or the child; it was the quality of love and respect between Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi. We tend to think of blessings in terms of prosperity rather than the high-quality relationships God makes possible for us. But regardless of your economic situation, you can love and respect the people God has brought into your life. In so doing, you give and receive blessings and, ultimately, know that love is the greatest blessing.


To some, the book of Ruth may be just a nice story about a girl who was fortunate. But in reality, the events recorded in Ruth were part of God’s preparations for the births of David and of Jesus, the promised Messiah. Just as Ruth was unaware of this larger purpose in her life, we will not know the full purpose and importance of our lives until we are able to look back from the perspective of eternity. We must make our choices with God’s eternal values in mind. Taking shortcuts and living for temporary pleasures are not good ways to move ahead. Because of Ruth’s faithful obedience, her life and legacy were significant even though she couldn’t see all the results. Live in faithfulness to God, and show kindness and integrity, knowing that the significance of your life will extend beyond your lifetime. The rewards will outweigh any sacrifices you will have made.

The book of Ruth encouraged us that God is at work in the world, and he wants to use you. God could use you, as he used Naomi, to bring family and friends to him. When we first get to know Ruth, she is a destitute widow. We follow her as she joins God’s people, gleans in the grain fields, and risks her honour at the threshing floor of Boaz. In the end, we see Ruth becoming the wife of Boaz. What a picture of how we come to faith in Christ! We begin with no hope and are rebellious foreigners with no part in the Kingdom of God. Then, as we risk everything by putting our faith in Christ, God saves us, forgives us, rebuilds our lives, and gives us blessings that will last through eternity. And Boaz’s redemption of Ruth (foreign woman) is a picture of Christ’s wonderful redemption for all those who believe in Him, as their Redeemer and Saviour. Amen.


STF 363: My Jesus, My Saviour

My Jesus, My Saviour,

Lord there is no one like you.

All of my days, I want to praise

the wonders of Your mighty love.


My comfort, my shelter,

tower of refuge and strength,

let every breath, all that I am,

never cease to worship You.


Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing,

power and majesty, praise to the King.

Mountains bow down

and the seas will roar

at the sound of your name!

I sing for joy at the work of your hands.

Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand.

Nothing compares to the

promise I have in You.


Darlene Zschech (1965)


Prayer of Thanksgiving

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise

for all that You have done for us.


Grace and Peace to You from God our Father,

Who has Blessed us with Heavenly and Spiritual Blessings.


Who knew us and chose us before the world began;

and loves us so much that He calls us his own children.


Who has brought us from darkness into light

and filled us with His Glorious Power and Strength.


Who has prepared an inheritance for us

that will never spoil or fade instead Everlasting.


Who encourages, comforts and strengthens us

in troubles, and in every good deed and word.

so that we can comfort others.


We thank you for the blessing of family and friends,

and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.


We thank you for the Church into which we have been called;

for the Good News we receive by Word and Sacrament;

for our life together in the Lord;


We thank you for Your Holy Spirit,

who guides our steps and brings us gifts of Faith and Love;

Joy and Hope in our daily and grateful worship;


Above all, we thank you for Your Son Jesus Christ;

who lived, died, rose, and lives for our Salvation;

for our hope in him; and for the joy of serving him.


Eternal and Everlasting God, we thank and praise You

for Your unfailing and Everlasting Love. Amen.


Prayer of Intersession (A Responsive prayer)

Let us pray! Lord, in Your righteousness           hear our prayer.

Eternal God, thank you for this opportunity to worship together.

Please help everyone here today, to learn something new about You. We pray for peace throughout the world and for everyone’s heart to be filled with love, so that we can all live together in harmony, whatever our differences are.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

As we witness the loss of lives, the violence, and the disunity plaguing around the world right now, let us pray for healing in all our communities, and for a day when we will know God’s most precious gift of shalom, peace.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

We still don’t know how much devastation the pandemic will cause worldwide, with the economic toll and so many lives taken, but we do know that when we come together in prayer, God can bring true healing and comfort. Let us turn to Him in prayer for the well-being of our nation and our world.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

And as we start to return to life after isolation, and adjust to a new normal, please pray for God’s continued blessings on us and on our loved ones.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Strengthen and encourage those in public health services and in the medical profession: care-givers, nurses, attendants, doctors, front line workers, all who commit themselves to caring for the sick and their families.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Inspire, give insight and hope to all researchers focused on developing a vaccine for this deadly disease coronavirus and other vaccines.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Sustain all workers and business owners who suffer loss of livelihood due to shut-downs, quarantines, closed borders, and other restrictions, protect and guard all those who must travel.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

We pray for all those who are sick in body, mind or spirit. Especially we pray for: [names of the sick]. Please give them peace in their pain, strength in their weakness and comfort in their sadness.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Now in silence we bring our wishes and prayers for ourselves and for those we know who are in desperate need.       (Silence)

Heal our world, heal our bodies, strengthen our hearts and our minds, and in the midst of turmoil, give us hope and peace.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

The Lord is at work, despite all the unsettling things happening in our world. He is concerned about you, of course, and is moving mightily in ways far beyond what we can imagine. I am sensing that He wants you and your loved ones healed, delivered, and living victoriously as you prepare for the exciting days to come.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Loving God, hear today the prayers that we lift up to you. Be with us, and all those who are your Church and community worldwide. Give us hearts of courage and songs of your grace to tell others of your righteous acts and deeds of salvation.

Lord, in Your righteousness                    hear our prayer.

Everlasting God, you have given us new life and, when we go out into the world, we pray that our lives will reflect Your love to all those we meet through Jesus Christ your Son, in whose words we now pray together, and say: Our Father….(The Lord’s Prayer)


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.


STF 476: One more step along the world I go

One more step along the world I go,

one more step along the world I go;

from the old things to the new

keep me travelling along with you:


and it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me travelling along with you.


Round the corners of the world I turn,

more and more about the world I learn;

all the new things that I see

you’ll be looking at along with me:


and it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me travelling along with you.


As I travel through the bad and good,

keep me travelling the way I should;

where I see no way to go

you’ll be telling me the way, I know:


and it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me travelling along with you.


Give me courage when the world is rough,

keep me loving though the world is tough;

leap and sing in all I do,

keep me travelling along with you:


and it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me travelling along with you.


You are older than the world can be,

you are younger than the life in me;

ever old and ever new,

keep me travelling along with you:


and it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me travelling along with you.


Sydney Carter (1915-2004)



The Spirit of truth lead us into all truth as we follow him,

give us grace to confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord,

and to proclaim the word and works of God;

because He is our Redeemer and Saviour.


And the blessing of God, the Father,

the Son and the Holy Spirit,

remain with us always.

And keep us safe during this pandemic and always. Amen.