Holy Saturday: Ezekiel 36:24-28 – A new heart

During Holy Saturday, Readings and Responses will be posted on the hour from  7 am to 6 pm

Ezekiel 36:24-28

24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water upon y7ou, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. 28Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Respond with Psalm 42:1-11 and 43:1-5

    42:1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
    2   My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
    When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?
    3   My tears have been my food
    day and night,
    while people say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

    4   These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
    how I went with the throng,
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
    with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
    5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help 6and my God.

    My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
    from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.

    7   Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your cataracts;
    all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
    8   By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

    9   I say to God, my rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
    Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”
    10  As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
    while they say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

    11  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

    43:1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people;
    from those who are deceitful and unjust
    deliver me!
    2   For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you cast me off?
    Why must I walk about mournfully
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

    O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
    let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.

    4   Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy;
    and I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God.

    5   Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
    Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

  • It is a day to remember there is always hope.
  • Listen for hope today.
  • What is your message from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Saturday, April 11, 2020, the Great Vigil of Easter (Year A)

Ezekiel 36:24-28
Psalm 42:1-11 and 43:1-5

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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