The following scripture readings will be read during service on October 9, 2016.
Ruth 1:1-19a. The First Reading, Ruth 1:1-19a, seems to be a text of despair: there was a famine, a family of Israel was forced to leave the land God had given to them, the husband died, the two sons marry outside of Israel, then they die. The widow Naomi decided to return to her homeland, but urged her two daughters-in-law to go back to their families of origin. Ruth refused to go home, and committed to share her future with Naomi, but what future? Hopelessness and despair leap off the page. Yet, if you read the whole book, you will see how the Lord provided for Naomi and Ruth through Ruth’s future husband Boaz, and how Ruth became an ancestor of both king David and of Jesus. Notice how the Lord provided for these two women in their helplessness and hopelessness, giving them life and a future.
Compassionate Lord, we thank and praise You for caring for Naomi and Ruth by giving them a future. We thank and praise You that when despair creeps into our lives, You break in with hope and life, especially life in Your Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Psalm 111. The Psalm is 111. This is a wonderful psalm of praise for God’s actions on behalf of those who, like Naomi and Ruth in the First Reading, are in desperate need. Let us join the chorus of praise to the Lord for His care and and faithfulness toward those who are in need.
All honor, praise, and thanks to You, O Lord, for Your steadfast love and for fulfilling Your promises to all. Enable us to see more and more Your grace and mercy in our lives, and let us rejoice in You. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:1-13. The Second Reading is recorded in 2 Timothy 2:1-13. This passage was written to encourage Timothy to remain faithful in his call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, even in the face of resistance. Notice the wonderful hymn at the end of the passage, notice the emphasis on the Lord’s faithfulness. Let us rely on His faithfulness every day.
Faithful Lord, thank You for keeping Paul and Timothy in You, especially as they faced hardship because of Your Name. Keep us firm in You, trusting in You and resting on You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Luke 17:11-19. The Gospel is recorded in Luke 17:11-19. Again we see a passage of hopelessness and helplessness: there are 10 people with the dreaded skin disease of leprosy. When a person contracted leprosy they were driven away from home, family, and community; it was a type of living death. All they could look forward to was the release of death. These 10 were hopeless and desperate, and they came to Jesus for mercy. What did they want? A handout, healing? Jesus cured the 10, but only one was fully healed, the one who returned to Jesus to give thanks. Jesus sets us free from sin, death, and the devil; let us be healed in Him and give Him thanks and praise.
Lord Jesus, we thank and praise You that You give us eternal healing, leading us to everlasting life. Enable us to rejoice in You, giving You thanks and praise every day. Amen.