What does faith look like? How does faith connect to power and wealth? What part do we play as we seek to trust in God? These are some of the questions that are evoked by the Lectionary readings for this week. They challenge our alliances, our use of our resources, our care for the most vulnerable in our world, and the extent to which we are willing to “gamble” all on God’s Reign. May we discover  a deep, practical, generous, and compassionate trust in God as we worship this week.

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17: Naomi instructs Ruth to approach Boaz, which she does. Boaz takes Ruth to be his wife, and she bears a son called Obed – David’s grandfather.
OR 1 Kings 17:8-16: God instructs Elijah to go and stay with a widow from Zarepath and her son. When he asks her for food, she says she only has a little oil and flour, which she and her son will eat before they die. Elijah assures her that, if she makes him a small loaf first, the oil and flour will not run out. She does what he asks, and their food does not run out.

Psalm 127: A psalm celebrating God’s protection and provision, and the gift of children.
Or Psalm 146: A psalm encouraging praise and trust in God’s care, justice, and rule, and warning against trust in human leadership.

Hebrews 9:24-28: Christ entered into heaven, offering himself once as the sacrifice for human sin. Then, he will appear a second time to save those who wait for him.

Mark 12:38-44: Jesus warns against the legal experts who seek honour, and who cheat poor widows and show off with long prayers. Then he comments on a poor widow who places a small offering in the collection box, saying that she has put in more than anyone else, because she has given out of her poverty.
(Summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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