TEACHING AT-RISK YOUTH
The At-Risk Youth Center in Beitou is seeking volunteer English tutors to give occasional support to their high school students (possibly on Saturday afternoons). If you can help with this special outreach, please contact Susie Hong at: M3susie@gmail.com
SNACK SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We are looking for friendly volunteers who can help serve at our snack table after service on Sundays. Can you make coffee and tea, and help serve people after Sunday service? If so, come speak to our secretary Yvette for further information.
HOMELESS MINISTRY OUTREACH
The EM Homeless Ministry team will hold their next outreach activity on 26 August. We will visit and provide food to homeless people around the church and at Taipei Main Station. For further information, and to join in, contact the Homeless Ministry leader Amity at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0987095278.
EM ENGLISH KIDS' CLUB!
The EM English Kids' Club is for kids from 0–11 years old. It's a fun time when kids can get together to sing songs, play together, and learn about God. Join us from 11:00–12:00 every Sunday in the 7F Kids’ Room. Please send your child’s name and age to Yvette at email@example.com
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Bible Verse for the Week
”He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged."
The importance of kindness, compassion, and love Ruth 1 .
Ruth is one of the shortest books in the Bible, but also one of the most beautiful. It’s so moving because at each step of the story we see the profound importance of kindness, compassion, and love. In chapter 1 we see this at two different levels.
First, we see it in the relationship between Naomi and Ruth. Too often the relationship between women and their mothers-in-law are hurtful and full of meanness and pain. But we see the opposite in this Bible story. Naomi doesn’t abuse her daughter-in-law, she doesn’t criticise her, attack her, or constantly pick on her. Instead, Naomi treats her daughter-in-law with goodness, kindness, and compassion. She is considerate and thinks first of what is best for Ruth and her future. Is it so strange then that Ruth is so eager to stay together with Naomi, and even willing to leave behind her own people and her own gods to follow Naomi? No; here we see the power that kindness and compassion have. When we treat others well, when we think of their needs, that not only helps us to create good relationships with others, but in Ruth’s case it also helped her be drawn close to God.
But there is a second, deeper layer of truth in Ruth’s story. Ruth is a foreigner. In ancient Israel there was often a lot of hatred and hostility towards foreigners, especially for Moabites like Ruth. In Deuteronomy 23:3–6, the law of Moses strictly rejects Moabites from ever joining with God’s people, and forbids the Israelites from even caring for their welfare and needs. The prophets Ezra and Nehemiah also fiercely demanded that the Israelites never marry foreigners. They argued that foreigners have no place in Israel and that they must all be driven out of the country. Sadly, this type of racism is still far too common in our world today.
But the story of Ruth fights back against this hatred of foreigners. It’s not easy to live as a stranger in a strange land. But Noami and Boaz work against the law of Deuteronomy 23 to care for Ruth’s welfare – and Boaz even marries this foreign Moabite woman. Why do they do this? Why do Naomi and Boaz work against hatred and racism and even the law? Because they know that goodness, compassion, and loving kindness are far more important than race.
In all times during history, people have mistakenly thought that God wants us to hate each other. But the story of Ruth shows us the truth. Centuries before Jesus taught us that God’s expectation is that we must love each other, the story of Ruth already showed us that the most important things in life are kindness, goodness, and compassion for one another.
With blessings for the week ahead,
Pastor Stephen Lakkis