Welcome to this community that is gathering this morning.
You are invited to bring all the messiness in your life.
Your confusion, your unease, your uncertainty;
all of who you are is welcome to participate.
God, will you help us soften our resistance?
Will you help us release our desire for control
just a little more this morning?
You are invited to bring the parts of you
which have been rejected and humiliated.
You are invited to risk a bit in hoping again.
God, will you stand with us as
we open our hearts once again to
trust, hope, and love more deeply?
We pray in the name
of God, our divine Queen,
Christ, our divine Prophet,
Spirit, our divine Priest,
We invite you to hear from the book of Ezekiel 37: 1-14
“The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by the spirit of
Yahweh and set me down in the middle of the valley, a valley full of bones.
2 He made me walk up and down and all around among them. There were
vast quantities of these bones on the floor of the valley; and they were
completely dry. 3 He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
I said, ‘You know, Lord Yahweh.’ 4.He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones.
Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh. 5.The Lord Yahweh says this
to these bones: I am now going to make breath enter you, and you will live.
6 I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you
with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will know that I am
Yahweh.” ‘ 7 I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying,
there was a noise, a clattering sound; it was the bones coming together.
8 And as I looked, they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin
was covering them, yet there was no breath in them. 9 He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the
breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Come
from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead, so that they come to life!” ‘
10 I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life
and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army. 11 Then he said, ‘Son of man,
these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dry,
our hope has gone; we are done for.”
12 So, prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to
open your graves; I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you
back to the soil of Israel. 13 And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open
your graves and raise you from your graves, my people,
14 and put my spirit in you, and you revive, and I resettle you
on your own soil. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken
and done this — declares the Lord Yahweh.”
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Sermon and Reflection
What are some ways that God’s message of hope and redemption has come through into our lives in unexpected or surprising ways? What did we learn?
What would it mean to live in such a way that, when God’s chaotic goodness interrupts the world, we’re receptive to it?
We invite us all now
to take a deep breath.
(Reader take a deep breath)
May we empty yourselves a bit more
of perfectionism and control-seeking.
May we carry the memory of today;
this liturgy, these faces, voices, and prayers
into the uncertainty of what this week holds.
May our breath sustain, awaken,
and enliven you as you go forth.
Go now in the name
of God, our Creator
Christ, our Living Example
& Spirit, our Sustaining Breath.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by Tajo Tang]