Holy Saturday: Ezekiel 37:1-14 – A new breath

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

Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

  • 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 143:1-12

    1   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
    give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
    answer me in your righteousness.
    2   Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
    for no one living is righteous before you.

    3   For the enemy has pursued me,
    crushing my life to the ground,
    making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
    sup>4   Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.

    5   I remember the days of old,
    I think about all your deeds,
    I meditate on the works of your hands.
    6   I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.                    Selah

    7   Answer me quickly, O LORD;
    my spirit fails.
    Do not hide your face from me,
    or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
    8   Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
    for in you I put my trust.
    Teach me the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

    9   Save me, O LORD, from my enemies;
    I have fled to you for refuge.
    10  Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God.
    Let your good spirit lead me
    on a level path.

    11  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life.
    In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
    12  In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
    and destroy all my adversaries,
    for I am your servant

  • 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 37:1-14
Psalm 143:1-12

 

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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