Armadale Uniting Church
29th March 2020
Learning the Lazarus Blessing – Jan L. Richardson
`Fear of life`
Introit – read out loud or sing, if you know the tune
`Don`t be afraid. My love is stronger.
My love is stronger than your fear.
Don`t be afraid. My love is stronger.
And I have promised, promised to be always near.`
(Wild Goose Worship Group – Iona Community)
Ezekiel 37: 1:14 and John 11: 1-45
Images of a valley of dry bones are hard to contemplate – especially in these days of national and global disease when we are confronted so inescapably by our own fragility and mortality. Surprisingly – the story and images of the new life of Lazarus and a whole swirling valley of skeletons coming to life, are just as, if not more, terrifying. The life God offers is beyond what we can imagine. Are there places in our lives, parts of our lives which are dead and dry? Are we brave enough to welcome God`s new life into those places? What would that mean for each of us today? Don`t be afraid.
Of this blessing
Is that it is written
On the back
Of what binds you.
You must take hold
Of the end
Must begin to tug
At the edge
Of what wraps you round.
It may take long
For its length
To fall away,
For the words of this blessing
In folds about your feet.
You will no longer
By then this blessing
Will have pressed itself
into your waking flesh,
will have passed
into your bones,
Will have travelled
Until it comes to rest
inside the chambers of your heart
That beats to
And the cadence of release.
“Lazarus Blessing” Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons.
Jan L. Richardson
These are extraordinary times. We will be meeting as a `virtual` or `digital` community for the next while.
This week is a bit of an experiment!
(We`re all learning new skills!)
There are several options for engaging with worship material:
this order of service – take time to read, pray and consider
a power point presentation – pictures and a spoken reflection (to follow)
an attached Word document with text and pictures (here)
All of which – hopefully – will be sent out via email and also available on the website.
(Go to: armadale.ucavictas.org.au)
There is the possibility for a `virtual` gathering on a Sunday morning via Zoom webinar – mixture of website and seminar – if people wanted to try that?
(Not this week. Let`s see how we go…)
I would value constructive feedback.
Please feel free to talk with me about worship possibilities or any other matters of concern just now.
The phone number – 0403 66 27 86
As human beings we can be overcome by the situation or, as people of faith, we can overcome it.
We can resist this time in fear or anger or we can live into it with curiosity, faith and hope.
`Is the Lord among us or not?` Exodus 17: 7