Worshipping together at a good distance – 29 March

29 March 2020

God of the one and God of the whole,
be with those who are working from home today
and those whose work keeps them from home.
Be with those who won’t go beyond the front porch,
and those who stay on the front line.
Be with those who must choose between
doing a job they know they can do
and being the parent only they can be.
May we each in our private worry
hear your universal call
to come, lay down heavy burdens,
and find a welcome rest.
And then with our burdens lightened,
may we help to hold the whole.
© The Corrymeela Community

And this week,
consider sending a card
to your GP practice,
to say thank you
for all they are doing
to keep us well.
Photo by Kate Macate on Unsplash

Ezekiel 37.1-14

They say that one of the signs of having come through an experience of trauma – that is, to have reached a point where life can be taken up again, even though so many things will never be the same – is that you no longer feel set apart from the rest of humanity.

Photo by Max Ostwalt on Unsplash

You live, every day, with the scars you carry, most of them invisible. But now you understand that this simply makes you human. It makes you, in that sense, ordinary. And ordinary has become a blessing, and a deep belonging.

Ezekiel’s people, however, were in forced exile in a foreign land, and their disorientation, like ours, was still vivid and ongoing. So Ezekiel the prophet is given a vision from the Lord. In this vision, he is led into a valley of utter desolation, a place of ruin, and ruined lives. Only the bones are left, and they are already turning to dust.

Finally, having walked all the way in to this desolation, Ezekiel is commanded to speak. He is to announce to the bones that even from the place of their
disintegration, the Lord will call them out. For these bones are Ezekiel’s people, now rigid with hopelessness, their old way of life shattered. They are literally digging their own graves with despair.

But they have forgotten to take into account the breath-taking, breath-giving wind of God.
So that wind sweeps in, bearing a shovel. And the announcement comes: Look! You are burying yourselves in a pit of hopelessness, but I, the Lord, am coming to dig you all right back out again! The shovel turns over dry ground, and the air rushes in. And before they know it, they are up on their feet again, and breathing.

Sometimes faith in a time of exile from the ordinary is just this: breathing. Knowing with each breath we take, knowing in our warm bones and moist sinews, the life-giving power of God. We do not know exactly what lies ahead of us. But we do know who God is. The breath-giver. We do know that.

And maybe it is always true, but it is especially true now: as Christ-followers, we will be remembered not so much by what we say, but by what we become in this extraordinary time. The air rushes in, yet again, and we help each other up. And we breathe.

So keep breathing. In the end, only life is viral.

Keep breathing. And to God alone be the glory.

Reflection © Christ Church, Sandymount