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Preparation for worship
Songs: Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing at church that speak about God’s power and strength?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.
Bible: You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures. You can use this doc or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.
This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:
Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 130, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
Gathering Words/Call to Worship
Leader: The prophet asks: Can our soul-weary bones live again?
All: O God, you know!
Leader: We ask: Can we dance again after times of trouble?
All: O God, you know!
Leader: The gift is sure and unmistakable:
All: God breathes new life into weary souls!
Leader: Let us celebrate the gift of God’s new life,
All: And come to worship God with our whole heart!
Song of Praise
Option A: Sing a song that focus on God’s power and strength
These are two suggestions:
Every Move I Make (kids will like this one…)
Look at this list for other song ideas.
Option B: Clap your hands and speak out loud why God is worthy of praise (God is with us, God is our joy in times of trouble, God is always with us, etc.)
Reading of the Psalm (Read this aloud together)
A song of ascents.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
An alternative to reading the Psalm is to listen to the song I Will Wait for You (Psalm 130)
Prayer of Preparation
The wind of your Spirit is the very sign of life
for all who long for you.
One breath from you and we are rescued
from the valley of dry bones,
given life and joy with which to praise you,
and filled with the holy hope you grant to all your people.
Let our whole lives be filled with the living breath of the Spirit,
that what has lain dormant may burst into bloom,
and that new life may emerge from within us. Amen.
(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen. Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)
Let’s hear the word of God from the book of John. It says in John 11,
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Let’s remember the parts of the story that stood out to us. What parts of the story captured your attention? Was there a word of phrase that jumped out at you? (go around the circle and share your answers)
What do you think God was up to in this story?
What did we learn about God as we read today’s text?
Is there something we should remember for this coming week from what we heard from the scriptures?
Prayers of the People
Faithful God, you always listen to us,
you breathe new life into us,
hear the prayers we pray today.
We are surrounded by a world of dry bones,
a world of worry and pain,
a world where we doubt.
We pray for this world:
for all the people in it . . .
for those who lay down their lives . . .
for those who lead . . .
(pause and invite people to respond)…
We pray for this world in need of your healing presence:
for those who are sick, or grieving…
(pause and invite people to respond)…
We pray for your Church . . .
We pray for the courage to follow you with all of our hearts.
(At the end of this time of prayer, close with the followingJ
Almighty God, we believe that you hear us when we pray and that you are with us all the time. We offer our prayers to you and pray the prayer you taught us to pray saying,
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Song of Response
Sing a song about God’s faithfulness or provision.
You might want to look at this list for some ideas.
Be with us, O God, as start a new week. Continue to guide us in the days ahead;
Protect us and give us patience with each other.
May we go into this week with assurance, hope and promise:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest upon us.
May the love of God, creator and giver of life, embrace us;
and may the presence of the Holy Spirit encourage us and surprise us,
this day and all our days.