Digital Worship at OLUMC
March 29th, 2020
Reverend Rachel Baughman
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Liturgy Generously offered today by enfleshed
Call to Worship
In the stillness…
In the quiet…
In all that rests on our minds and hearts…
Our souls wait for you, O God.
In everything moving too quickly…
In our feelings of helplessness before all the obstacles that surround…
As anxiety abounds and needs exceed our capacities…
Our souls wait for you, O God.
Though we cannot yet perceive the way from here…
We do not give up on each other. We do not give in to despair.
We trust in the One who has companioned life and love through the troubles of every generation.
Our hope is this: through all things, God resides with us, within us, around us.
God of the dead and God of the living, hold us close as we linger in these delicate days. May we perceive with clarity all that you would have us glean from what surrounds. Where a collective lack of love and justice are failing us, embolden us to live differently – today. Let your Spirit come swiftly and transform us with hope. Amen.
Waiting for Divine Redemption
A Song of Ascents.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. 8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
The Valley of Dry Bones
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[a] 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, 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:[c] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath,[d] 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.”
Though we face difficult truths and realities, we do so in the company of God and one another. Together, we can hold what must be held. Together, we can support those who need it most. Together, we can tend life even in the midst of death. God is with us. Let us share what we have.
Prayers of the People
by Pastor Mara
Lord, we believe you are the God of the Valley of Dry Bones.
We believe you can restore life where there is death; health where there is illness; abundance where there is loss.
We believe! Or at least…we are trying to right now.
Where there is unbelief, lend us your grace.
Reveal yourself to us in our isolation in new ways so that we can believe again. Because where we doubt, we WANT to believe. Do not abandon us in our doubt, but infuse our worship spaces with your spirit so that we can prophesy with your power to dry bones once again.
And where there is tender anger in us, use it to connect us with Christ. Take dominion over our anger and doubt so that through it we may deepen our relationship with you, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Do not abandon us in our anger, but step towards us in gentleness to say, “I am here. I am with you.”
In the spirit of your omnipresence, we name our doubt and anger before you…
In the spirit of your resurrection power, we lift up names of people who need you, God Immanuel and WE prophecy NEW LIFE over them…
We thank you for being unthreatened by our humanness; and delighted by our passion.
In the name of the resurrected Christ, we pray.