"What makes a prophet” or rather “What is a prophet“with Norm Rennie
8 weeks ago, I guess, in a discussion with Harley, he was telling me more or less that, he had plans to do a series on the Old Testament, 4 weeks prior to the advent, which I believe he thought that being Christians, we could look at 4 weeks of Old Testament messages.
Of course, I opened my big mouth!!!! ....
That I was very concerned about what is happening in the world, the whole concept of what is happening in the world, of what is happening in the Middle East and that it might be a time that we need to address having more understanding ...of those people that were involved in these conflicts which is ourselves, by the way and our opponents or enemies you might call them. So I thought messages that dealt with that were actually what was needed at this time.
So, of course Harley said: Well, why don’t you stand and speak about that, because I have been reading the Quran at that point in an attempt to understand what is going on, in an attempt to understand the culture, to understand the religion. So he says why you don’t do a message on that!
I said: I am actually a singer not a preacher... so I prefer to preach through a song and not from the pulpit.
So he said: well, it is time to expand you horizon!
So, here I am!
And it is an important message, but he said what you we will do is try and tie in to the messages from the Old Testament which as it turns out in not very difficult to do because the Quran is absolutely packed with Old Testament references and stories.
So he asked me just before the bulletin was put out, what we should call the message, did I have a name for it. I had juggled around a few names so I though let's just take the one on top of my short list here. We will call it: "What is a prophet.” But I noticed in the bulletin it translated itself into "What makes a prophet". But we will assume that it is the same thing.
The dictionary definition of a prophet, I have it written here. It is: a person who speaks by divine inspiration or one through whom a divinity expresses itself.
Muslins actually recognize 124,000 prophets; not all of them obviously are Major Prophets so they kind of fall into categories of Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. But in fact, the people, the ones who fit that definition are numerous not few, but there a few who are truly Major prophets.
The Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet. We believe that Jesus was a very extra special prophet.
But my heritage of course is Norse. My genetic heritage is Norse. I come from people that come from the North. So how did the message of Christ find its way all the way to the North, to the Norse people? The story of the people of the dessert. It creeps up through the Greeks and the Romans of course who came North with the message to a people that they would have regarded as what Harley would have called Barbarians last week.
The people from the North were Barbarians even though, the Norse had their own seeress : the story of Siegfrid, Hildegard and Valhalla. But of course when the News and the Word came up North, it was recognized by the Norse people immediately as being the Truth. It was like a light. Like remembering the words that were said for like remembering things that were forgotten. It was not like teaching something new.
The message was easily received and easily adopted. And of course with the message of Christ came all the messages of the Hebrews; the Hebrew messages that came down with the Hebrew Scriptures which is the Old Testament. The Norse people accepted that as well, read all of this, learned about the story of Creation and started with the first prophet Adam and down through the other prophets. We won't talk about the 124,000; we will just do some major prophets here, being Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham.
We will stop at Abraham because there were many other prophets, but we stop at Abraham because he was a particularly pivotal prophet, of all the prophets in the Old Testament. He is the prophet of what I call "The great divide". He was the prophet that gave birth to the division between the Arabs and the Jews. How did this come about? Abraham was a prophet that God had spoken to, through all of his life, telling him to go here and to go there, and giving him promises that his progeny would be the seed of kings and kingdoms to come.
So he went on along with this, didn’t listen to some of God’s messages and got into trouble and made mistakes etc. etc. As he got older, he really began to doubt and said: I don't see how this Word that was delivered to me from God is going to be fulfilled. Because here I am an old man and my wife Sarah is an old woman. They were both in their 70's at the time. He said it’s not going to happen. God speaks to him and says to him: It is going to happen.
In the state of depression he was in, his wife come forward and says, and this was legitimate in the culture of the day to say: Why don't you have a child by my Egyptian slave and handmaiden Hagar and he is accepted that idea and said that would be a good idea. So 9 months later, Hagar bears a child, a son, and Abraham is delighted and they name the son, Ishmael.
And then in that chapter, from the book of Genesis, we fast forward and skip over a whole chunk of time, and 13 years later God speaks to Abraham again and says that your wife Sarah is going to bear a child. Sarah of course keels over laughing when she hears this news, because Abraham is almost a 100 and she is in her 90's.
But sure enough, 9 months later, Sarah bears a child, a son and they name the son, Isaac; that was the name that God in a message had said this child should be named. So the family is very happy about this. Now they have a genuine son born from Sarah.
But a couple of years go by and then Sarah sees Ishmael playing with Isaac around the house and she gets very jealous because according to the tradition and culture of the time, the first born is going to be the legal heir. She is jealous because the son, which she bore, was the second son.
So she says to Abraham. This is it, they have to go. So they send Ishmael and Hagar packing, not with any great wealth because Abraham was not a very wealthy person. They stuck them on a donkey and gave them some bread and water and said, off you go. But from that beginning, that is the Great divide.
From the seed of Isaac come the 12 Tribes of Israel and the whole story of the Old Testament that we are familiar with. And from the seed of Ishmael come the 12 Tribes of the Arabs of which we know very little and very little is known because they did not have a written tradition. Their tradition was an oral tradition.
But Ishmael and Isaac of course have grown up in Abraham's house and they worship the same God that Abraham worshipped. This was passed on to the Arab people through Ishmael. They worshipped the same God as Ishmael's father worshipped the same God. The Jews people worshipped the same God that we worship. It gets murky because it is not being a written tradition and the Arabs being a nomadic people and a trading people, circulated back and forth from east to west, all over. They did not just stay alone in the Arabian Peninsula. They traded with Eastern people and the Western people, and Arabic became the common language through the entire area, various dialects of Arabic.
My shoe maker actually speaks Arabic. I was in there one day and he was listening to the radio and I said what language is that that you are listening to? He said it is Arabic. He is Armenian, and so he speaks Arabic and he was listening to an Armenian station. So I talk to him and he said Arabic it is a language but some of the dialects are barely intelligible.
That is where it is hard to follow it is because it is not written. So during all this nomadic backing and forthing, they were exposed to a lot of different religions other than the religion of Abraham and so they would have gotten exposed to Hinduism and all the religions from the east and others that were extent at the time, and some of them were following religions that predated Abraham. So the Arabs were a people that would have had a whole variety of beliefs in there and of course a big chunk of Arabs believing all the way down the line in the God of Abraham. So it comes all the way down. Of course they followed all the prophets that spoke to the Jewish people because that their God and the God of the Jewish people was the same. So every new message which came to the Jewish people, the Arabs people also accepted because they worship the same God. The word God is the word God.
So we come all the way down to Mohamed. That is really fast forwarding. We are now about 600 years after the birth of Christ. There comes a prophet to the Arab people, who gives the Arab people a book, an Arab scripture, the Quran, in a plain language by an unlettered man. It was written by a scribe who would sit at his elbows and note the words that were given to him and these were delivered over a long period of 20 years. The structure of the Quran is not a story, like much of the Old Testament is and the New Testament; the entire Quran is the Word of God spoken directly to the Prophet Mohamed. All except for the very beginning, the opening of the Quran opens with a prayer and that prayer is recited by Muslins 5 times a day every day of the week and I will tell you what the words of that prayer are:
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE ALL-MERCIFUL, THE ALL-COMPASSIONATE
All praise and all gratitude is for God, the Lord of the worlds, The All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate Master of the Day of Judgment. From You alone to you alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help. Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have favored, not the path of those who incurred anger, nor those who are astray.
That is the prayer which Muslims repeat every day, 5 times a day on their knees with their head in the dust.
Now what is in the Quran, what does it contain? The main trust of the Quran repeated over and over again is about believers and non-believers ; and the reason that there is so much of the Quran devoted to that was because the Arabs had mixed religions and many Arabs (probably the majority of Arabs) were atheist. They worshiped Gods other than the God that was the God of Abraham. So a huge portion of the Quran addresses the believers and the non-believers and it is a warning to non-believers to say that there is a terrible faith awaiting for you on the day of resurrection, on the day that you return to God , your unbelief is going to be paid with a terrible torment and for the believers, they will have a reward and a kingdom. That is really the main message of the Quran.
Another big chunk of the Quran of course is a reminder, and it is a reminder to the Arab people, the believers, that the stories of the prophets, the Hebrew Prophets, the Prophets of the Jews and the Prophets of the Christians (because they regard Christ as a Prophet) are all to be heeded. All! This is a huge chunk of the Quran that devotes itself and repeats. It’s a very, very repetitive, it was delivered over 20 years. Those topics are to be recycled, and it is the important topics. So it asks believers to remember and to heed the words of the prophets of the Old Testament.
The difficult part of all of this, it is a difficulty that we have with the Old Testament’s scriptures and the New Testament’s scriptures and with the Quran is that the topic of translation comes up, these are scriptures that were delivered to people that were not of our culture, ancient people, not of our culture in Egypt languages and what we read is the translation into English. The Muslim people will not accept any translation of the Quran; that the Quran in Arabic is the Holy Quran and that any translation of the Quran is by its very nature a corruption of the message because we cannot translate from another culture and another language and have exactly the same syntax, the same meaning and that is true of course of the Hebrew scriptures and is also true of the Greek scriptures which is our New testament. Christian scriptures written in ancient Greek, Greek being a language which evolved: there is the Ancient Greek and there is Modern Greek. Not so much with Arabic. Because Arabic has really changed very little, it has not changed the way even English has changed. It stayed very much the same but it is a very difficult language to translate into the English language. So we have to bear that in mind, all of us whenever we are reading anything out of our Old Testament scriptures New Testament scriptures or from the Quran, that it is all a translation and it loses and is corrupted in the translation. Now we can talk for ever and ever after translation about interpretation. But we have got to wrap there so we will stop there. Because interpretation is where it gets interesting and we discuss what in fact was meant by these words and messages that were delivered.
So the conclusion of all of this is that the God of the Jewish people and the God of the Christian people and the God of the Muslim people is the same God, and we have to find a way to increase understanding between us because we have that as a very solid foundation at starting point, and it is hard to believe that with that, we can reach a stage where we have such enormous differences between us and that is what has to be resolved because the conflicts cannot be resolved without that being resolved.
Now I wonder if you would bow your heads and share this short prayer with me.
God accept our humble gratitude expressed in inadequate words but you know what is in our hearts: gratitude for the guidance you have sent to us in the form of Christ who has shown us the path to you, gratitude for all your messages sent through all the prophets, gratitude for the amazing variety of people and cultures with which you have populated the world.
Please note that this is Norm's integral lesson as recorded by Rob Ireland and converted to text by Marcelle
Barbarians inside the Walls
1 Samuel 13:16-22New International Version (NIV)
Israel Without Weapons16 Saul and his son Jonathan and the men with them were staying in Gibeah[a] in Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Mikmash. 17 Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three detachments. One turned toward Ophrah in the vicinity of Shual, 18 another toward Beth Horon, and the third toward the borderland overlooking the Valley of Zeboyim facing the wilderness.
19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plow points, mattocks, axes and sickles[b] sharpened. 21 The price was two-thirds of a shekel[c] for sharpening plow points and mattocks, and a third of a shekel[d] for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.
22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
" Barbarians"..... any force, army, person, movement, ideology which seeks to destroy, injure, dilute and enslave the cultural, intellectual goodness of others.
1- The Old Testament has been our study, much of the Fall Sundays:
ref : for the pictures : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moab, http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/References/OT/Historical/1-2Samuel/1Samuel15/1Samuel15_01-3_Crisis.html,
There are the Barbarians of the Old Testament- from the Jewish point of view, and God's policy was to slaughter them all- men, women, children, babies!
This policy of genocide gives many Christians a big headache; how do we read such slaughters? Did God really want this? A God of Love?
TWO VIEWS :
"Peace treaty" " cultural exchange agreement"
"Hebrews set up shrines for Western worships"
I. Today's scripture is a typical example of "Barbarians inside the walls"
The Philistines had made peace with Israel. They moved into Israel Towns, set up shops, even intermarried. They brought skills- better than Jews.
A lawyer opened the door of his BMW, when suddenly a car came along and hit the door, ripping it off completely.When the police arrived at the scene, the lawyer was complaining bitterly about the damage to his precious BMW."Officer, look what they've done to my Beeeeemer!!!", he whined."You lawyers are so materialistic, you make me sick!!!", retorted the officer. "You're so worried about your stupid BMW, that you didn't even notice that your left arm was ripped off!""Oh no!", replied the lawyer, finally noticing the bloody left shoulder where his arm once was."Where's my Rolex???!!!"
Power point : The Hebrews let down their guars, slowly unnoticed at first, then almost too late. The leaders like David, Jonathan and Soul rose up to defend their religion and traditions from annihilation. They survived only by the bravery of a few, such as David and his famous fight with Goliath .
a) Sneeze - no more "God bless you"
b) no religious symbols, public schools
c) Cross on the top of the Mount Royal pilots on the river and in the air use cross as a guide.
III. The US experience- Ben Stein, CBS " Sunday Morning"
For help in comprehension please find here a transcrip of that commentary:
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .. If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on
your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they
will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, honestly and respectfully,
1. Jews and Christians tolerate each otherSynagogue Saturday and Church Sunday OK.
2. Where is the legal document that certifies that we are an Atheist Country
PP " Barbarians inside the walls"
4. Started in the US 30 years ago by Madeleine Murray O'hare " No more prayer in schools" Barbarians inside the gate"
5. "No reading Bible in schools. I don't know when that law was made." Sometime between the time I was a kid and now! " Barbarians inside the walls"
6. Dr Benjamin Spock : " don't spank the kid. It will worp his personality. Spanking is bad for self-esteem ( True). He is the expert. He must know- except, his son committed suicide. Children need discipline ( Not spanking but discipline)
7. B.F. Skinner = no restrictions. ( Tell of daughter in free crib, not even diaper, sitter changed the sheets when necessary. Note age 21she suid for neglect ." Barbarians in medical papers"
The Barbarians are amongst us.
This is nothing new, except it is more obvious today than 100 years ago.
So what is our response?
Please accept my apologies for the quality of the pictures. They are not from our famous photographer but a sad attempt at photography from your webmistress.
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
By Nancy Campbell
How many of you have watched the Miss America Pageant and heard the contestants try so hard to give the perfect answer to the question "What would you do to make the world a better place?" And the most popular answer is, "To have world peace?" It's a wonderful sentiment, but can we define what world peace actually means? If you look at not only the world today, but also at the history of the world, the goal of world peace can seem like an impossible vision. Over the past 3400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them - only 8% of recorded world history. We have made no moral progress. More people have died in the wars of the 20thC. Than in all the other wars that were fought throughout recorded history.
Is it possible to live non-violently in a violent world? How do we create peace in a world filled with conflict? Peace making is not the denial of conflict. It isn't naive or romantic. Nor is it like an ostrich putting its head in the sand. On the contrary, peace making starts when we recognize that our world is filled with conflict. At the beginning of 2003 there were over 30 active wars going on around the globe. We humans are born with aggression, but we can choose how to respond to it. Even if we could end every conflict on the planet, as wonderful as that would be, you might still not have peace. We need to learn how to use conflict and aggression to deepen human dignity and a sense of the spiritual. That would be real peace making!!
The Roman Empire conquered lands all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The leaders of the Roman Empire believed that they had the right to conquer other lands and to force the people there to live under their rules. Their power made it so that some of the people they conquered couldn't or wouldn't fight back ..... This was known as the Pax Romana, or the peace of Rome, but it didn't feel like peace to the people who were forced to live under foreign rulers. But just because the people couldn't fight back, it didn't mean they did not have something to protest and speak about.
As the song goes: "Let peace begin with me". There may be a few saints in the congregation today, but most of us are in a struggle of some sort or another. We are plagued by self criticisms: "l'm too fat, I'm too thin, my hair looks awful, I don't earn enough money, I'm not as good as my neighbour" - each one of us has our own unique litany of these internal voices. We are also plagued by regrets: III was a bad parent, I wasted my best years, I can never forgive myself." We are plagued by worries about the future: "What will happen, how will it all turn out, what can I really count on?"
Instead of collapsing under the weight of these voices, internal peace making is a positive affirmation: "I know I'm not perfect, but I love myself. God loves me, I love me, I deserve to be here." Peace making means forgiving our self, because when we hang onto regrets it's a heavy burden. Peace making means softening our self-criticism, softening our worry about the future, taking one day at a time. Peace making begins with our self. We can't end all internal conflict, but we can soften it by loving our self instead of being harshly critical.
We also need to make peace with each other. We'll look at this from two angles: Peace within our families, and peace between groups in society. Being a peace maker within our family doesn't mean peace at any price. Peace making is not about being a martyr and succeeding to our real needs and wants. It is about being honest about the joy and the pain in our family.
Peace making means opening up the line of communication. Family members are encouraged to listen to one another without judgement, shame or blame. We work towards genuine forgiveness. If a family member refuses to change or talk with us, or is even abusive to us, then peace making means setting appropriate boundaries and getting the help we need to heal our self, so we don't carry the burden of resentment. Fighting with your brother or sister is not just something that kids do. If you've had a fight with somebody, there is often a space between when the fight is over and when peace is made. That space is not fighting, but it isn't peace either. Peace requires more than just that the fighting stops. It requires healing and resolution, so that both sides feel that justice has been done. Peace making in family life is hard work, but nothing is more important than the quality of love in our primary relationships.
We need to strive to make peace within our self, within our families and with other groups in society. In order to do this, we need the courage to examine our own prejudices. We call carry prejudice. We are all pre-judging other people, seeing them as stereotypes rather than as individually unique person.
Peace making means reaching past our differences to listen to one another, to understand each other, to appreciate one another, and thus to grow closer in real friendship. What most people want is actually rather Simple. It is to be listened to, understood and appreciated. If we give that to one another, most of the misunderstandings between us can be resolved. If you want peace, work for justice. I think this is what the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah had in mind when he said; "They dress the would of my people as though it was not serious. Peace, peace, they say, when there is not peace." A few verses later there are some very interesting words of prophetic wisdom. Jeremiah says, "Take your stand and watch at the crossroads; ask about the ancient paths; ask which is the way that leads to what is good." There is a bumper sticker that reads, "If you want peace, work for justice." This could be interpreted as a threat, "You better start working for justice, or else." But of course it means that you can't really have peace until there is justice and fairness.
In this regard, Jesus gives us the ultimate challenge - to extend this understanding to our enemy. He said, "Love your enemy, bless them that curse you." When Dr. Martin Luther King led demonstrations to end racial segregation in the United States, he would often hand to his followers a card out-ling a non-violent philosophy. The central message was this: non-violence begins by seeing your opponent as a human being and a child of God. Protesters didn't have to love or approve of being mauled by police dogs or knocked over by a fire hose, but were called to love the person holding the hose or unleashing the dog. This is the power of non-violent peace making; opposing the action, but loving the person. If we hold hatred or resentment toward another human being, it's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We forgive, not because we are a saint or a martyr, but because we don't want to carry the burden of resentment one day longer.
Let us be non-violent peace makers, with our self, with each other, and with the world. We need to make peace with the earth. We are violently destroying the earth. Polluted air, polluted soil, polluted water, species dying off daily. What we are doing to the earth is like domestic violence. It's like beating up a family member and thinking it's okay. Well, it's not. I can almost hear the earth asking in exasperation, "What is the soul of the human being: greedy domination or loving kindness ?"
Peace making means changing how we live on earth. We have only one home - earth. The earth gives us everything we need for life, and all it asks from us is a little respect. And this simply means lowering our carbon footprint. We have to change how we live. Consuming less and being happier with a simpler lifestyle. It means thanking the earth every single day that we have breath,
We need to make peace with the earth and with other nations upon it. We need to tackle the question of war. In this regard some world leaders argue that non-violence is the only viable choice. We are so inter-dependent, that the concept of war has become outdated in many aspects. When we face problems today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Hatred never helps. Therefore, we should follow a policy of non-violence.
I am definitely not a pacifist. I recognize that the evil of Nazism or slavery in America had to be stopped. But when I read a list of the wars fought in the last hundred years, I can only find a few that J think were morally justified. The rest fit these words by the famous general and President, Dwight D. Eisenhower: "War is the failure of diplomacy." Peace making means focusing our best efforts, time and resources into diplomacy, and having war be a very, very last resort.
The probable solution is to create a just society. The huge discrepancy between wealth and poverty around the world, is not acceptable. It is a form of violence and it's time to make poverty history. That dream is within the realm of possibility, if we have the will to do it. Similarly, we must overcome all the violent "isms" in society: terrorism, racism, sexism, ageism, abJeism and all forms of bullying. Peace making is the movement toward a just society in harmony with the earth.
Each one of us is called to be a peace maker: with our self, each other and with the whole world. We can be peace makers in the small actions of daily life by following these 5 simple steps:
World peace may feel unattainable, but truly it can all start with each one of us. In a world filled with conflict, may we be the peace makers. May we fulfil! the words of Jesus: "Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God." May we truly be the children of God.
The Communion Service
After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem
6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.
15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d] has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
Covenant, pledge to Naomi to her God ....Story of refugees
Noemi and her family were refugees
When Noemi is back in Bethlehem, Ruth is a refugee.
The famine is over, earth is back to life.
Naomi wanted Orpah and Ruth to start a new life — to marry again — but she told them she could not provide them husbands, and so again she urged them to return home. Naomi’s comment here refers to the biblical custom of Levirate marriage, by which a dead man’s unmarried brother was obligated to care for his widow (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). Naomi could provide no new brothers-in-law for the women to marry. (http://www.gci.org/bible/hist/ruth2)
So there is no hope for Ruth, but there is a commitment to her mother in law. She can go home to her family. Ospah returned.
Ruth chose not to. She chose to follow Noemi and Noemi's God.
Clinging of the man to his wife ....all giving complete commitment
What is it about this mother in law to have her daughter "cling" to her, "clinging" to her God.
What sort of woman was this Naomi, to inspire such affection in a daughter-in-law? What relationship with God must she have had to cause Ruth to forsake the gods of Moab and worship Naomi’s God alone?
How do we react?
Could our life instill that kind of devotion to our God?
How solid can Naomi's faith be to cling to her God?
Do we cling to
Conversation to Grand-mother
Women who represent life
To Ruth .... Romance
read the text further
Ruth caught the eyes of Boaz. he marries Ruth and thereafter Naomi has everything restored to her. Poor Ruth being a Maobite " the one from everthere"
People celebrated Noemi but not Ruth.
Naomi Gains a Son
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The Genealogy of David
18 This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,
19 Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,[d]
21 Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
22 Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.
The family is part of the line that gave us Jesus .....Obed is part of the line of Jesus.
Story of life for us ...New Life in Jesus Christ
Gave his ownself to us. Total commitment to Jesus....to him, we are saying what Ruth said to Naomi : Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Jesus stays with us!
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.