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Hope...?

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This Advent we will be studying the book of Ruth and letting it guide us through the Advent season. The title of our series is, "Under the Bethlehem Star." Please take some time to read through Ruth - especially the texts for the upcoming Sunday - as we journey through this time of remembering the birth of our Saviour and waiting expectantly for his return. Below are the themes and texts for each Advent worship service.

The text for this Sunday is Ruth 1:1-22 (the whole chapter) and the theme for this Sunday is Hope.

Hope?” Is it even possible to have hope in Naomi's situation?

After only 5 verses Naomi (meaning "sweet" or "pleasant") has lost her husband and her two sons. She is without a future and without anyone to provide for her. Later, as she returns home to Bethlehem, she openly exclaims to her daughters-in-law that God’s hand is against her. When she returns to Bethlehem she tells the people of that town that she has a new name – Mara (meaning “bitter”) – because she has returned to Bethlehem empty. "Why call me '' 'pleasant'?" she asks the women of Bethlehem, "for the Lord has afflicted me and made me bitter."

Naomi truly is hopeless.

However, our theme is “Hope” because there are glimmers of hope in this story. 

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The barley harvest is beginning in Bethlehem and God has come to the aid of His people by providing food for them after the famine. As Orpah says her tearful goodbye and turns back for Moab, Ruth stands with her mother-in-law and refuses to return. Ruth famously says to Naomi, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Naomi will not be alone.

Even the names in this chapter provide glimmers of hope: Bethlehem (“house of bread”), Elimelech (“my God is King”), Ephratha (“out of you will come”), Orpah (“raindrop” or “abundance”), and Ruth (“friendship”).

Yes, God is providing hope even to hopeless Naomi.

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Comments

  • Andrea Schinkel
    Andrea Schinkel Tuesday, 27 November 2012

    Great idea! I'm going to like this, I'm sure

  • Veronica deVries
    Veronica deVries Wednesday, 28 November 2012

    Looking forward to Sunday! I think this theme (book of Ruth) is wonderfully different and will cause us to all ponder the Christmas message from a new point of view.

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