The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!”
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 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.
1. How has your week been?
2. How have you seen God at work in your life this week?
3. Read the passages again.
4. Ruth’s life reflects the green pastures, and the dark valleys and comes to the feast. Which part of this journey do you feel your life is at?
5. What do these passages tell us about God?
6. What do the passages tell us about our relationship with God?
7. What is challenging in these passages?
8. Is there anything else the passages are saying to me?
9. What am I going to do about it?
10. Who am I going to share it with?
11. Be prepared to share back next week.
Lord of the 23rd Psalm,
I have known death,
and you have refreshed my soul.
I have known fear,
and you have comforted me.
I have known hunger,
and you have set a feast before me.
In the darkest valley
no calamity of humankind or nature has separated us.
Teach me to walk as you walk
Beside those in mourning
so that they will know joy,
Beside those in fear
that they will know comfort,
Beside those in hunger
that they will feast until their cup overflows.
As your goodness and love follow me,
May mine follow my neighbour
That the threat of the worst terrors
May turn to the knowledge of the comforts of
the house of the Lord,
Where you have invited us to dwell forever.
And so let me strive to help build on earth
What you have promised us in heaven.
In the face of all calamity, present and yet to come,
Let me lead my neighbour beside quiet waters,
The quiet waters of the Good Shepherd.
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