Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you know, due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 it is currently advised that public worship should be postponed. So, as we gather in our individual homes this Sunday, please feel free to use these resources to guide your Worship @ Home.

from St John’s Worship Team.

Growing in faith; reaching out in love

Sunday 29 March – A Journey of Hope 

Opening Video

stjohnsgeelong.org.au/…/easterhopeworshipintro_720p_mov.zip

Bible Reading – Ezekiel 37: 1-14

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

Further Bible Readings:

Psalm 107  “Let the one who is wise head these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord” (V.43)

When we are in our darkest moments it is important to record God’s actions in our lives. Psalm 107 is a poetic list of what God has done in the life of Israel. Read this aloud and reflect on God’s actions in your life.

Ephesians 6: 10-17 “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (V.17) 

When you are at your weakest and most vulnerable to temptation, the word of God is your weapon. What Bible verses are you turning to at this time?

John 6: 60-69 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the holy one of God” (V. 68-69)

Use the words from verse 68 & 69 as your confession of faith today. Speak them aloud.

 Pastor’s Message 

Prayer

 

We were dead in our sins, but the word of God entered into our tomb and called us out into new life. Let us pray to the Father, knowing that he listens to us.

 

Dear Father in Heaven: thank you for the gift of new life that you have given to us through the waters of our baptism. Help us, as your baptised people to daily die to sin and rise to new life with Christ in the power of the Spirit.

 

Lord in your mercy:     hear our prayer

 

We pray that you will be with us as gather around your word in our homes and not in our places of worship. We pray that over these next weeks and months that you will continue to sustain us in our faith and keep us strong in the hope that we have in Christ.

 

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

We pray for all those who are mourning the death of a loved one. Comfort them in the knowledge that Jesus has won a victory over death, so that everyone who dies in Christ may have eternal life. Keep us from fearing death, but at times of doubt, help us put our faith in Jesus.

 

Lord in your mercy:     hear our prayer

 

We pray for hospices and for people who work with the dying. Keep them strong, and give them peace to do their difficult worth with dignity and sensitivity. We pray for all those people who work with alcoholics and drug addicts. Use them to make a difference to people’s lives, and to help them start their life anew.

 

Lord in your mercy:     hear our prayer

 

As we move close to Easter, help us to live as Easter people who face death in the certain hope of resurrection. Remind us and comfort us everyday with your promise that we will be raised up together with all who have died in the faith of Christ.

 

Lord in your mercy:     hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, bring healing and comfort for people around the world suffering from Coronavirus COVID-19. Speed their recovery and slow the spread of the virus. We thank you for the efforts of all those involved in treating, testing and caring for patients, and ask your protection over them as they go about their work. Give wisdom to governments around the world as they manage this outbreak. We ask for your peace when we are tempted to panic or become anxious about this disease. Help us to place our trust in you, knowing that our life is safely hidden in you and that you are the Lord of all creation. Enable us to show your love to others, sharing the hope we have in you, praying and caring for the sick and needy as best we can in the name of Christ.

 

Lord: in your mercy: hear our prayer

 

Heavenly Father, through the death and resurrection of your Son, you rescue us from death and the grave. Restore us to life, so that we may serve you in the world; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

Blessing 

Say this to yourself or over the people in your household. 

“Our souls will find rest in God. Our hope comes from him. He is our rock and our salvation. He is our fortress. We will not be shaken.” Psalm 62: 5-6

 Song 

This is the song our youth band (The BEATitudes) had been preparing for this Sunday. Feel free to sing along. 

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