This week's theme
A place to stay: 2 Settling
Loving Lord, let me move forward and find newness and identity in you. You hold this world, the past and future, in your hand; may I learn to live the future into my present always. Amen
For further thought
Take some time to consider the meaning of moving forward and arriving home for you in whatever circumstances you find yourself today.
Write down ways in which you could identify with those on the fringes of your local community.
In recent years, especially in Africa and the Middle East, the world has seen the largest numbers of displaced persons ever in recorded history. How do Ruths words apply to current situations?
If you do not already do so, how about contributing to a charity that helps to alleviate poverty?
Put yourself in the place of a migrant family seeking a new land. Write a poem, song or story about your journey.
What is your national government doing to prevent global warming?
Is there anything you can do to help people in your area transitioning from life in prison to life in society?
Whom would Jesus single out today as examples of hypocrisy and greed?
Do you think nations have a duty of love to other nations, or only individuals to other individuals?
How is rereading the Bible different from reading it? How is it the same?
How can speaking in defence of freedom of religion be an aspect of Christian discipleship?
How can we as faith communities join in movements to show our commitment to Jesus movement against empire?
How can we as faith communities become just, inclusive and hospitable? Make a theological audit of your church based on the qualifications in Psalm 24.
Where shall we sit on the day of victory? Let us be humble and hope to hear the words: Friend, move up to a better place (Luke 14:10).
Freedom grows from the decision to open our hearts and minds to Gods will, and to acknowledge our dependence on God as a child would.
To be in the kingdom of God means to be a child of God, and as a child of God the kingdom is ones inheritance.
What are we doing today in our homes and churches to prevent children from approaching Jesus? And what attitudes within us prevent us from entering the kingdom?
When stressing a point, Jesus often uses hyperbolic or exaggerated language. Is he really asking us to maim ourselves? No, but the kingdom is worth any sacrifice.
Jesus reveals God, but also what it means to be fully human.
What is blocking the sight of your spiritual eyes at the moment? Can you ask for healing to see more clearly?
What do the Syrophoenician womans boldness, and Jesus response, suggest about what Jesus desires for our relationship with him?
In biblical Hebrew there is no word for mind, and the word for heart often fulfills this function.
How much time would it add to your morning or evening routine to set aside a restful moment with God?
What do you think it means that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (verse 10)?
What are the customs of hospitality in your own culture? How are these the same or different from the customs in your church community?
In scripture water is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. What does this communicate to you and what hope does this offer others?
If sent-ness is about incarnation embodying a Christ-like life for the transformation of others what does your sent-ness look like and how is it expressed?
What would prophecy, dreams and visions look like in your community? If God seems silent, what might be interfering with you hearing Gods prophetic voice?
What miracles does your community long for? Do you have the faith for it? If signs and wonders happened would there be more faith or fear?
If we sing what we believe and believe what we sing, what are we communicating? What are the marvellous things we should be singing about?
'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'
This week's writer
After living in southern Africa for 28 years, Helen, raised in England, has recently moved to West Virginia, USA, with her US-citizen husband, a bishop in the Episcopal Church. Helen is also ordained in the Anglican/Episcopal Church. She had previously se
Celebrating 135 years!
Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.
Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.
Our reading today is Ruth 1:19-22