Homeward Bound

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Good morning! Thank you for all the wonderful feedback that you gave me over the last week. When I began the broadcast last week, I mentioned how strange it felt, talking into a computer screen. But I suppose I got used to it pretty quickly, because so many of you commented on how natural it all felt. Many of you described the broadcast as intimate—which I wouldn’t have believed was possible before last Sunday. It must have been a Holy Spirit thing. Whatever it was, it worked. And I am so glad that it worked so well for all of you.

If you weren’t here for worship last Sunday, here’s how this service will go. I’m going to offer a stripped-down version of the worship service. First, I’ll make some announcements, then I’m going to offer some prayers, read from the prophet Ezekiel, preach a sermon, then offer some more prayers. Finally, I’ll close with a benediction—a blessing for all of you. But first, here are some announcements.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: All church events, all in-person gatherings are suspended until further notice. The church office will remain open during this time. Our hours are from 9:00 to noon, Monday through Friday. We will hold meetings and classes online using Zoom meeting software. Please remember that we need you to continue to make your offerings! We still have to make our mortgage payments. So, if you are not suffering a financial hardship in these times, please remember to send your checks to the church office or make your offering online. Information for online donations can be found on our website.

Prayer of Invocation

Dear God, silence all voices within our minds but your own.

Help us to seek and be able to follow your will.

May our prayers be joined

with those of our sisters and brothers in the faith,

that together we may glorify your name

and enjoy your fellowship forever.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for Illumination

O Christ, by remaining faithful till death,

you show us the road to greater love.

O Christ, by taking the burden of sin upon yourself,

you reveal to us the way of generosity.

O Christ, by praying for those who crucified you,

you lead us to forgive without counting the cost.

O Christ, by opening paradise to the repentant thief,

you awaken hope in us.

O Christ, come and help our weak faith.

O Christ, create a pure heart in us;

renew and strengthen our spirit.

O Christ, your Word is near;

may it live within us and protect us always. Amen.

Ezekiel 37:1-14

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 <