Yesterday our community of faith began a new series of teachings on the book of Ruth, a rich Old Testament narrative. During our gathering I spoke from Ruth 1:1-18 and provided some background to the text and a framework for our study. Carolyn James, in her book, The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules writes this about the two primary characters in this narrative:
Naomi is here to remind us that — in those long, bewildering phases of God’s silence — our struggles are real and we can be honest about the state of our hearts. Her full story reminds us that our struggles are also important and that, even when there’s nothing left but rubble, God is mysteriously at work in the mess.
Ruth is a powerful reminder that the most important thing in all of life — the purpose for which we were all created — is to know the God who made us and to walk through life as his child, no matter what it costs us. Even when we are standing at ground zero — when we are hurting, God is silent, and our suffering makes no sense — we have no other place to go.
“Your Mighty Hand” from Saint Lewis was a new song that we introduced yesterday. It reinforces some of the major themes in the book of Ruth and if you are not familiar with it, I would highly recommend it to you. The chorus confidently declares:
Your mighty hand can save me
An anchor firm in raging seas
No power of hell can stand against your mighty hand
Your heart remains unchanging
Your love calls me to my knees
Not even death can separate me from your mighty hand
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Your Mighty Hand (Shannon Lewis and David Dalton)
- My Hope (David Crowder Band)
- I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin)
- Great Are You Lord (All Sons and Daughters)
- Recognition of Our Graduates
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (Introduction to Ruth)
- Reprise: Your Mighty Hand
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.