Fifth Sunday of Lent - 29 March 2020
A short act of worship for use in people’s homes while churches are closed.
Breathe in The Love of God
Breathe out and give to God your fears
Breathe in our hope in Christ
Breathe out and give to God our anxieties
Breathe in the strength of the Holy Spirit
Breathe out and give to God all that we cannot control
Today with people around the world, we gather to worship, surrounded by the presence of God. Amen
Hymn – Praise my soul the King of Heaven - (listen at https://youtu.be/KkWyBc0bSsI)
Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven; To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Who like thee His praise should sing Praise Him ! Praise Him!
Praise the everlasting King.
Praise Him for His grace and favour To his people in distress.
Praise Him still the same for ever, Slow to chide, and swift to bless Praise Him ! Praise Him!
Glorious in His faithfulness.
Father-like He tends and spares us; Well our feeble frame He knows. In His hands He gently bears us, Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him ! Praise Him !
Widely as His mercy flows.
Angels in the height adore Him
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him, Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him ! Praise Him !
Praise with us the God of grace.
Gentle, yet mighty
Lowly, yet almighty
Refugee, yet King.
In your power, strengthen us.
In your gentleness, guide us.
In your lowliness take away our selfish pride.
In your grace, forgive us.
In your majesty enable us to lift ourselves up so that others might see you in your full glory. Amen 
We say the Lord’s prayer
Reading – Ezekiel 37:1-14
The reading from Ezekiel is one of the set readings for today. My first thought was that given the current situation around the world, I should keep well clear of this reading. But then I read what Christine Odell had written for us in this weeks Vine
…“the Valley of Dry Bones” is not a good place to visit. It is a place whose dryness sucks the hope from us. It is a place of despair. It is a place we may encounter on our spiritual journey through life, but one we would rather avoid… God entrusts Ezekiel with a prophecy that is a promise...they shall live. The Word of God spoken through his prophet will make it happen.
The Bible speaks to our imaginations as it describes what happens as Ezekiel prophesies… Ezekiel is told to proclaim God’s Word again, by calling to the wind. There is a very close link in the Old Testament between the words wind, breath, spirit, word and Yahweh, the name for God. Ezekiel prophesies that this is the Word of God for his people, too. They may feel cut off from their life in the dry spiritual desert of Exile, but God will breathe his spirit into them, give them new life and bring them home…”
The very fact that you are reading this is a reminder that we are all in what can feel like a spiritual desert. This is not how we do church. This is not what we do on Sunday. This is not a good place for us. Yet even here God is with us.
Lent has always been a time of reflection, of preparing for a new way, a post resurrection way. The Jesus way is full of hope and calls us, as God called Ezekiel to play our part in seeking and building God’s kingdom.
I truly believe that in the midst of all that is going on, when so much of what we thought was important is currently not available, we are being called to look again, to seek God’s way for this coming age. To ask what is my new role in all of this?
So may you all know the hand of the Lord upon you in these troubled times, may the love of Jesus fill you with hope and words of grace, and may the spirit of the Lord be upon you and lead you ever closer. Amen 
Song – My hands in yours - (listen at https://youtu.be/NKeyvH9hAkc)
When all around's falling down, and life lacks clarity
I will look to You, my Friend, and hold Your hand.
When the road ahead's unclear and chaos seems to swirl
I will run the race, My Friend, my hand in Yours
I'll follow Justice alone, seeking your holiness
Through grace my life's been changed, my hand in Yours x2
When one neighbour has no food, another fills his plate,
I will look to you, my Friend, what would You do?
When so many have so much, and other's struggle by,
I will give myself to You, my hands are Yours. 
Gracious God, we come to you with all our troubles and burdens…
We call to mind all that has been on our heart this week…
Our friends, family and neighbours…
Those who have served us, supported us and helped us…
Those who we might never meet yet are there in the caring professions if we need them…
We pray for those who are struggling with their new situation…
We pray for ourselves as we look for a new rhythm, a new purpose, a new daily routine.
Grant us dear Lord your strength in these troubled times.
For we offer you our prayers in the name of Jesus, our friend, our saviour and our guide.
God of the wilderness places, journey with us we pray. Inspire and uplift each one of us, to seek your kingdom come, your will be done, in this place and throughout your world. Amen. [6 ]
1 Prayers by Wayne Grewcock
2 Prayers by Matthew Forsyth
3 Reflection by Wayne Grewcock and Christine Odell
4 Song by Matt Beckingham
5 Intercessions by Wayne Grewcock
6 Blessing by Tim Baker
The Vine at Home is compiled and produced by twelvebaskets
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