Worship Companion – October 31 2021

No spooky stuff in this Hallowe’en Worship Companion; just a fascinating and also tragic story of the life or Ruth and Naomi this week. We’re looking at the story of two unlikely people who end up following God together.
Title: Story of Ruth [Click for smaller image view]
Above you see “The Story of Ruth” by John August Swanson. Normally I have the anchor text and “the Theme in Art” listed separately in the worship companion, but today I an blending them together. I want you to take a look at this image first and let it tell you the story of Ruth. If you don’t know all the characters that’s okay. Take a moment and simply “observe” the story. Notice what the artist focuses on each each panel.
Now, take a moment to read the scriptures.
We’ll focus on Ruth 1:1-18 but I’ll link the whole story here – its about a 15 minutes read.
Think about what the panels represent. What is there, what is missing from the written account in Scripture? Comparing the two, how do the painted panels emphasize certain elements that perhaps you missed in the written account?

Providing God,

you journeyed with Ruth

and comforted Hannah

when their lives were burdened by grief.

Grant us faith to believe you will provide a future

where we see none,

that bitterness may turn to joy

and barrenness may bear life. Amen.

Reflect on the mother-daughter relationship that Naomi and Ruth developed. Though they were not blood-relatives, they forged a lasting relationship. Is there someone in your life you have forged a relationship with that is something like this?
Was it wrong for Naomi and her husband to leave Israel and go to Moab? What do you think the story says about this?
Why include a story in the Old Testament about abandoning Israel, death and devastation, and returning with a foreigner daughter-in-law? Consider what is revealed about the biblical theme of redemption in this story.
The Theme in Song:
Many people have taken this hymn and arranged it in new ways and here again we find another that was just recorded this year. The hymn focuses on the fact that for every believer’s story of faith, there is a common intersection point of the person of Jesus Christ. We all have very different lives experiences and backgrounds, but our Savior Jesus Christ unites us all.

The Theme for Kids:
The whole story of Ruth is fascinating and even though we are only focusing on a portion of it today, take some time to watch a 7-minute telling of the whole story here!


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