The Psalm for this Sunday comes from Psalm 45:1-5, 17-21. It is a Psalm of great jubilation and praise. We will be opening with “O My Soul Bless God the Father” as our call to worship. The language of this hymn echoes much of this psalm. References to healing, redemption, and the passing on of the faith also tie into the Old Testament text Dennis will be preaching on.
Departing from the lectionary, Dennis will be preaching through the book of Ruth. This series began last week and will continue up until Christ the King Sunday, which is the Sunday prior to the beginning of Advent. Last week’s sermon dealt with Naomi’s bitterness toward God for taking her husband and sons from her. As she returns to her land with her faithful daughter-in-law, Ruth, we can see her bitterness as she changes her own name. Chapter 2 of Ruth tells of how Ruth trails behind the gleaners of Boaz’ field to pick up the scraps of the harvest. Boaz notices her and instructs the workers to leave grain behind for her to pick up as well. The bounty she brings back to her mother-in-law revives a little hope and joy as she declares that God has not forsaken her after all. This passage tells of God’s faithfulness and provision even in times of grief and pain.
Appropriately, our response to this passage will begin with “Be Still, My Soul.” “Leave to your God to order and provide,” and “Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.” We will follow this hymn with Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” proclaiming “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me/Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
Our parting hymn is a repeat from Friday night’s All Saints service, “For All the Saints.” Because this was a new hymn and because I’d like our congregation to be more familiar with it, we will repeat it this week. It serves a dual purpose, though, as it gives us an anthem of strength as we have been fed with the bread and wine of life.