While lighting a candle to remind you of God’s Presence, have someone read the candle prayer:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You have called us out of darkness into light.
Open our eyes to your presence,
Open our ears to your call,
Open our hearts to your love.
Share a consolation (what you are most grateful for) and desolation (what you are least grateful for) from the past week.
When did you last receive kindness from someone in a meaningful way? Describe the circumstances and what it was like for you.
Up to this point in our journey with the narrative lectionary, we have sought to recover the story of God in Scripture as told through the patriarchs Abraham, Jacob and Moses. As we continue through the Old Testament, we come to a little book that tells the story of God through a matriarch. The Book of Ruth.
The historical backdrop of the Book of Ruth is important because it serves as such a contrast to the actual story. The opening lines of the book: “In the days when judges ruled…” is a shorthand way or referring to the violence, political upheaval, and fallible human leadership that provides the backdrop to this human-scale story about loyal love and kindness.
Read Book of Ruth chapter 1:1-18 and 4:13-17
Watch Bible Project Video about Loyal love/Kindness
List the several experiences of upheaval, loss or vulnerability outlined in the first passage from Ruth that you read. In what ways do they resemble things happening in your own life or in our world today?
In Ruth 1:8, we read the word ‘kindness’ as part of Naomi’s prayer/blessing. As the Bible Project video reminds us, this loyal love/faithfulness is a key characteristic of God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Where do you see human or divine kindness at work in the story?
Reflect on this piece of art by Sandy Freckleton Gagan, entitled ‘Whither Thou Goest’. What details do you notice that help you understand the story?
If there is time and inclination, pray for one another, or ask one person to pray for the group.
Close with someone reading the blessing over you all as the candle is blown out.
May the Father of many resting places grant you rest;
May the Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm;
May the Spirit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light,
God’s love be your love,
God’s way be your way.
If there are children in your Small Church, we have resources to lead them through a story, conversation and activity.
Traditions or holidays can be a great opportunity to give space for meaningful connection and
reflection as a family. We wanted to invite your family to not just talk about gratitude, but find ways to
practice it. We identified 3 ways you could approach Thanksgiving as a family by: noticing goodness,
expressing gratitude for others, or finding good in the midst of hard things.
Click HERE to access the guide.