Supplementary material for Rural Mission Sunday
These materials are also available to download.
Unexpected Journey: Dinner at Bag End
See Hobbit Bilbo Baggins meet the Dwarves
This 4 minute video clip could be downloaded and played to introduce the topic of hospitality and pick up some of the Rural Mission Sunday themes. The questions and related Bible references below could be used for a small group discussion or the basis for a talk drawing on the clip.
The extract is from the beginning of the first film of the Hobbit trilogy. The wizard Gandalf believes that the hobbit Bilbo Baggins is the right person to join a team on a dangerous but vital venture. But Bilbo Baggins doesn’t want his quiet and comfortable life disturbed. Not taking no for answer, Gandalf invites the team to the hobbit’s house.
Following this challenging encounter, Bilbo Baggins re-discovers his courage, integrity and desire for adventure, develops deep friendships, helps save the world and has the time of his life.
Have you ever encountered a stranger seeking hospitality? How did you respond? (Genesis 18:1-17)
Have you befriended someone from a very different group from you in the last year? Was it easy or difficult? (Luke 10:25-37)
‘That’s my mother’s jewellery box; please don’t do that.’ Should we set rules or limits to our hospitality? (Luke 6:27-30)
Do you find that your view of someone changes as you get to know them? (Luke 24:13-31)
Is our group or church good at welcoming strangers or people who are different to us and helping them feel at ease? Or do we only welcome certain types of people? (Luke 14:12-14)
Additional prayers for Rural Mission Sunday
Creator God, we praise you for the world you have made in your love, full of intricacy and diversity.
You created it to be an inclusive place where all would be welcome.
We praise you that in Jesus, you came to show us that all people are worthy of your love;
In your eyes, no one is an outsider.
We praise you for the gift of the Spirit who comes to inspire each of us to share the love that we receive. Your Spirit challenges us to welcome the lost and the lonely.
Loving God, Creator Son and Spirit receive our thanks and praise for all that you are, all that you have given.
we give you thanks that whenever we turn to you, you do not turn us away.
We remember those people today who don’t feel welcome;
those who have had to leave their homes,
those who live on the edge of society for whatever reason.
Help us to welcome those whom others reject, to reach out to our sisters and brothers wherever they may be.
We ask this in Jesus name who stretched out his arms for us.
A Celtic Rune of Hospitality
We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place.
And with the sacred name of the triune God
He blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often, goes the Christ
In the stranger’s guise. (Traditional)