Dear Friends
Ruth chapter 1
6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had had consideration for his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah.
The book of Ruth is a real gem of a little book.   It deals with God’s guiding hand in choosing the poor and the dispossessed for his plans and it majors on the themes of refugees.
Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem in Judah because of famine and went to live in  Moab.  They settled there, had children and some years later their two sons married Moabite girls, one of whom was called Ruth.  Another ten years passed and the three men in their lives all died and the three women were left alone.   Naomi, a foriegn women in an alien country had little power and little prospects .  In verse 6 above, she discovered the famine in Israel had ended so she decided to return to her own land of Israel and advised her daughter-in-law to remain in their own land, Moab.  One did so, but Ruth refused to leave her and travelled, a refugee again, with Naomi back to Bethlehem.
The rest of the book details how they managed to survive back in Bethlehem.  It contains an understated but undeniably sensuous sex scene and examines issues of kinship and belonging.  The punch and purpose of the book is revealed in the last verse of the book where it is revealed that Ruth’s great-grandson  is King David.  And all because of a penniless refugee who tried to do the right thing by her mother-in-law.
The world is overrun with refugees today.  These unenviable displaced people have left their homes for a variety of reasons but one of the most common is the same as the Book of Ruth;  famine.  Due to rising populations, competition for land and food, and above all, climate change, famine and instability are set to increase over the next decades, which means that refugees are set to increase so the scenes we hear about on Greek Islands, Turkish borders and Calais are going to become ever more prevalent.  As Chrisitans if we want to attack the root cause of refugees and the painful suffering they undergo, then battling against the rise of climate change is probably the best long term plan.  Or do you have a better idea?
A prayer
Almighty and merciful God,
whose Son became a refugee and had no place to call his own;
look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger,
homeless and hungry.
Bless those who work to bring them relief;
inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
and guide the nations of the world towards that day when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have a listen to
Freedom by Afghan composer Milad Yousufi
If you would like to join us for Evening Prayer tonight (Wednesday) it is at 5pm.
The link is:
Topic: Zoom Evening Prayer on Wednesday
Time: Jul 1, 2020 05:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 875 4958 6635
Password: 748807
The times for Evening Prayer for the rest of the week are as follows:
Thursday  4.15pm
Friday 5pm
Saturday 5pm
Sunday Morning Service to be confirmed (both on Zoom and in church) and Evening Prayer at 6pm
Every blessing