Fr. Christopher Leighton - Ruth - January 31st 2010

Fr. Christopher continues the sermon series on Ruth.

Study Guide:

Week of January 31 Ruth 3:1-18

The Threshing Floor


Has anyone ever tried to play “matchmaker” for you?  How did it go?

Have you ever tried to play “matchmaker”?  How did it go?

Are you a natural risk-taker?  Why or why not?


Sum up Naomi’s plan.  What could go wrong?  What could go right?

What does Ruth do?  How is she described?

How does Boaz react?  How could have he reacted?

What is Boaz’s plan?  How quickly does he move on this plan?


What are Naomi’s intentions?

The phrase “corner of your garment” (v. 9) is the same word translated “wings” in 2:12.  Why is this significant?

How does Boaz interpret Ruth’s actions?  What are his intentions?  What still needs to happen with Boaz’s plan?

Ruth uses the word “empty-handed” in v. 17.  Why is this important in her communication with Naomi? (look back to 1:21)


How do you see God’s plans and human plans coming together here?  How does that have an impact on how you view His plans and your plans?  What’s going to be different for you?

Each of the three people in this chapter demonstrates selfless love and kindness (hesed) on behalf of another.  Where is there a need for more of this demonstrated love in your life?  What about on behalf of others?

On the Mark January 31st 2010

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Oh God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world:  Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching;  through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

It is striking to think that this prayer has been prayed in Anglican churches throughout the world this week.  I am especially delighted with the request “Grant we pray that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching.”

The whole Anglican Communion – 70+ million strong – prays with appreciation for St. Paul’s conversion and seeks to obey his teaching.  Well…


Let’s make it a point to do so here.  We are St. Paul’s Church.  We were named after the Blessed Apostle.  Whatever anybody else says or does is what they say and do.  They and we are accountable to God.

I just know we are seeking to obey St. Paul’s teaching and all the teaching of the Bible.  We love God and we believe those who love God are called to obey Him.  Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”  John 14:23


Your brother in Christ


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


Frank and June Williams Haiti Testimony

Frank and June Williams talk about their experience during and following the earthquake in Haiti.

Bishop David C. Anderson

Bishop David Anderson spoke at the annual meeting on Saturday January 30th.

On the Mark January 24th 2010

By , January 24, 2010

Learn Servant-hood


Every week we pray, “Father…grant that every member of the church may truly and humbly serve You.”

Let’s eliminate “Volunteers” in the church.  Let’s do away with volunteerism.  We are more than that secular term.  (The word “volunteer” is in the Bible, but it’s a military term for those who willingly go into battle.)


There are many figures which describe our relationship with the Lord Jesus:  e.g., we are members of the body of Christ;  we are the Bride of Christ;  we are His brothers and sisters;  we are servants of the Most High God!  We are God’s workers and as Dan Mohler recently told us, we are the roster of God.

Colossians 3 has a word to say to household servants, but we can apply it to servants in the house of God as well:  Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your real reward.  You are actually serving the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:23,24


Anything we do in the church is ministry and service to Him and to each other.  Those who work the soundboard enhance our worship.  Those who usher make possible orderly worship.  Those who serve in the nursery or Sunday School are “training up a child in the way he should go”.  Those who offer hospitality enable “the fellowship of believers”.  Name any task in the church and it will be an expression of the heart of the Lord for the people of God, as you use your gifts and faculties in service to Him.

All of these things, done for love of God and for each other, bless Him and witness to the watching world, “See how the Christians love one another.”


So let’s replace “Volunteers” with “Servants” or “Workers”.

On the roster,


The Rev. Roberta Schneider, DCN

Fr. Christopher Leighton- Ruth - January 24th

Fr. Christopher continues the sermon series on Ruth.

Study Guide:

Week of January 24 Ruth 2:5-23



Who is one of your favorite protagonists or heroes from film or literature?  What strikes you about that person?

Have you ever volunteered or helped those in need?  What was that like?


How does Boaz greet his workers?  Does this tell you anything about him?

How does Boaz communicate with Ruth?  What has Boaz heard about Ruth?

Does Ruth get enough grain?

What is Naomi’s response to what Ruth shares with her?


Describe Boaz’s character based on what you observe here.

What is a “kinsman-redeemer”?  What are they obligated to do and what are they able to choose to do?  (passages to help:  Lev. 25: 25-28, 47-49; Num. 35:19-28; Deut. 25:5-19)

There are other instances throughout the Bible of this redeemer role and even the Hebrew word for kinsman-redeemer (go’el) being used about God Himself.  Can you find some?


We struggle to translate go’el and even this concept of kinsman-redeemer into English.  What are some words or word pictures that could help in the translation or in the communication of this concept to someone without any Biblical background?

Boaz is generous beyond his obligations.  How has God been generous to you, beyond “expectations”?

Much of this chapter takes place in the workplace.  How could what’s happening here have an impact on your workplace?

Fr. Christopher Leighton - Boaz - January 17th

Fr. Christopher continues with the study of Ruth.

Study Guide:

Week of January 17 Ruth 1:19-2:4

The Return to Bethlehem


What has been stressful this year?  What is stressful right now?

Who in your life has been with you through the tough times?  How?

Have you ever been a part of a harvest or grown anything at home?  What was it like?


Where do the women arrive?

What does Naomi asked to be called?  What does it mean?

What time of year do they arrive?

How are the women going to meet their need?


The place of the women’s arrival—what’s significant about it?

Where are there signs of hope as Chapter 2 begins?

Who is Boaz?  What do you notice about him at first glance?

Look up Leviticus 19:9-10.  What impact do you think that has here?


When have you felt “empty”?

Who has been a “Ruth” in your life—loyal in a time of emptiness?

Who is a “Naomi” right now?  How do you see their situation in light of this passage?

On the Mark January 17th 2009

2010:  The Year of Harvest Joy


Joy is something greater than happiness.  It covers a whole lot of emotions since joy is really a state of being.  I think of what the author of Hebrews wrote about our Lord Jesus.  He says we are to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.    Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:2-3.

We are told that Jesus suffered as he kept before himself the joy without growing weary.  And so should we do too.  The New Century Version says, “Think about Jesus’ example.  He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him.  So do not get tired and stop trying.”  Eugene Peterson puts it this way, “Keep your eyes on Jesus who both began and finished this race we’re in.  Study how he did it.  Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way:  cross, shame, whatever.”

St. Paul’s, I see a harvest coming and it can be taken at least two ways.   First, there is coming the fruit of the Spirit which includes joy.  You are bearing forth a new level of joy as you follow Christ.  This fruit of joy is very appealing to others.  They are going to want some!  Second, the fruit of this harvest is the new wave of believers who will enter the Kingdom of God this year.  They will be filled with joy, as will be heaven and earth because we know that the Lord Jesus is joyful as are His angels.  “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repeats.”  Luke 15:10

Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus!

Your brother in Christ


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


Fr. Christopher Leighton Ruth Chapter 1 January 10th

Fr. Christopher starts the new study series starting with Ruth Chapter 1.

Study Guide:

Week of January 10 Ruth 1:1-18

Naomi and Ruth


What was the economic climate like for your family as you grew up?

Have there ever been times in your life when you’ve felt alone, or left out?

Have you ever spent time in another culture?  What was it like?


What do you know about this book of the Bible coming in to this study?

What has life been like for Naomi?

Where does the conversation in v. 8 take place?

Who is Ruth?  What is her ethnic group?

Why does Naomi return to Bethlehem?


What kind of future is Naomi facing?

Naomi asks that the Lord would show “kindness” to Orpah and Naomi.  This word is the Hebrew word hesed, sometimes translated “loving-kindness” or “covenant love”.  Where else do you find this concept in Scripture?

What about Ruth’s loyalty is so significant?


How has God shown you His loving-kindness?

Who are the people in your life that need to know this about God?

Who has been an “Orpah” in your life?  Have you let them go/forgiven them?

What are you looking forward to in this study?

On the Mark January 10th 2009

By , January 10, 2010

What’s in Your Tank?


I was just thinking about the correlation between Power and Propulsion.  Power is stationary unless it has a mechanism to transmit that power into motion.  Without movement, it is simply wasted energy.  

We see examples of this in static government or religious organizations that are impotent to move or create or grow because they have failed to transmit power into propulsion.  Without life and growth, I submit that such power eventually burns out because the emotional, financial, and creative TANK empties.


What fills your tank these days?  Have you begun a study of God’s word that causes you to grow?   Have you invited the Holy Spirit in to transmit that power into action: into love, service, sacrifice, giving, and many other "Fruit-Bearing" Spiritual gift characteristics?  Or are you like many; coming to church on Sunday for that one meal that you hope will somehow feed you throughout the whole week? I don’t think that pattern of living makes for a healthy life.  You see, we EAT so that we can PRODUCE.  We PRODUCE so that we can PROVIDE.  We PROVIDE  so that we can EAT.   As simplistic an example as this is, we must fill our tanks so we can live, and out of that life we are made full again! It is cyclical.  God will fill us if we seek him and TRANSMIT that energy into ACTION!  The joy of serving Him and reaping the harvest of His Spirit will top off our tanks and leave us energized for more.

I suggest a New Year’s discipline: Get into God’s Word.  Every day read a Psalm; a section of a Gospel; and  part of a book of the Old Testament.  How about starting with Ruth?  We will be studying this in our Cell Groups and hearing from Ruth in our Sermons on Sunday. 


In the Book of Ruth we find the true faith and sacrifice of a Moabite woman is honored by God. Because of Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi, she appears to have given up her chance of re-marriage after being widowed. But Boaz became Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer and took her as His wife and their child Obed was the grandfather of David, King of Israel. Through this study we will see God’s desire for the nations, His heart for the widowed, orphaned, and lost, and His Salvation plan as He aligned the genealogy that led to Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer.

As you read; BE FILLED.  As you are filled; BE TRANSFORMED.  As you are transformed; ACT on the grace you’ve been given.  I promise, as you do so, your tank will never be found empty and the power of the Holy Spirit will propel you forward!


Peace and Blessings


The Rev. Daniel C. Morgan

Associate Rector

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