Sunday, April 2, 2017 Fifth Sunday in Lent Introduction
In today’s gospel Jesus reveals his power over death by raising Lazarus from the dead. The prophet Ezekiel prophesies God breathing new life into dry bones. To those in exile or living in the shadows of death, these stories proclaim God’s promise of resurrection. In baptism we die with Christ that we might also be raised with him to new life. At the Easter Vigil we will welcome new sisters and brothers at the baptismal font, as we renew our baptismal promises.
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a promise that Israel as a nation, though dead in exile, will live again in their land through God’s life-giving spirit. Three times Israel is assured that through this vision they will know that “I am the Lord.”
Psalm: Psalm 130
I wait for you, O Lord; in your word is my hope. (Ps. 130:5)
Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11
For Paul, Christian spirituality entails living in the reality of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind our actions and values is not our sinful desire for self-satisfaction but the very Spirit by which God raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us from the dead.
Gospel: John 11:1-45
Jesus is moved to sorrow when his friend Lazarus falls ill and dies. Then, in a dramatic scene, he calls his friend out of the tomb and restores him to life.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
We are Chosen.
Lent is a season of remembering that we were formed by God and called by name.
We are Filled.
Lent is a season of refocusing our priorities and opening ourselves to God’s will through the Holy Spirit.
We are Saved.
Lent is a season of witnessing the steadfast faith, humble service, and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.
We are Called.
Lent is a season of reflecting on our own faith and our position on the path God laid out for us.
In the midst of our stillness and reflection, wherever we are on that path, we hear the same message: Expose the Darkness. Testify to the Light.
What darkness is God calling you to expose?
How can you testify to the light of Christ?
How is All Saints being called to bring peace, hope, and light to this community?
Remember that none of us walk alone or unprepared. We are:
Chosen by God
Filled with the Spirit
Saved by Grace
Called to Believe
We are the light of the world. Let our light pierce the darkness!