In this week’s Reflection, I offer thanks for all the creative ways in which the leadership of our churches have responded to our need to change. I’ve seen many wonderful examples of how we can worship, pray, and carry on the work of the Episcopal Church in West Missouri together, while remaining physically apart. The diocesan website has details of the many services and daily prayers available, it also provides educational and Christian formation resources.
Funding is vital to the work that our churches are performing. Please continue with your pledges and offerings. You can put a check in the mail and many churches have online giving options.
Finally, before discussing this Sunday’s reading — Ezekiel 37:1-14 — I have some news about the Easter Vigil.
- Diocesan COVID-19 Webpage – providing links to all the key resources and news.
- Online Worship and Prayer Resources – Links to all the diocesan churches providing online worship and prayers.
- Home Worship Resources – a selection of suggestions and materials to help you in prayer, worship, and play at home.
The diocesan office is temporarily closed and we are all working remotely. Contact details for all the staff can be found on the diocesan website.
Reading – Fifth Sunday in Lent
37 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”Ezekiel 37:1-14
Collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer p219
Coronavirus (COVID-19) liturgy and prayer resources
The Church of England’s COVID-19 liturgy and prayer page has prayers and intercessions for personal or group use. It includes special prayers we can use now that we cannot meet in church and a simple form of prayer for the morning and evening. The prayers can be downloaded, printed and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.
- The Church of England’s COVID-19 liturgy and prayer page.