While so called “social distancing” may be in place for everyone’s safety, we live in an amazing time where we do not have to be socially isolated as a result. We’ve been working our way through the Old Testament readings in Lent while taking a look at songs we might sing at St. Peter’s to help tell the story and deepen our faith. Here is part 5 of the Covenants of Lent series, with some modified content.
The Old Testament reading assigned for March 29th is one of my absolute favorites: Ezekiel and the dry bones. Ezekiel, a prophet, is sent to prophesy to dry bones in the valley. They are built up to become people but do not live. God then instructs Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath of God to breathe on them that they may live, and suddenly the vast multitude lived. God explains, “I am going to open your graves, and bring you up, and bring you to the land of Israel.”
Although our social/physical distancing may make us feel otherwise, we are nearing the end of the Lenten season, our time of growing in the faith and learning about God’s promises. This reading and the accompanying reading from John of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is a foretaste of the greatest covenant of all: God saves us from sin and death and raises us to new life. Yes, at the moment when we need it most, God calls us to new life through our baptisms. How can we sing this?
Music and Worship
What Wondrous Love Is This is one song that allows us to sing this “gospel truth.” Christ bore the dreadful curse and laid aside his crown when we were sinking down. Therefore, while millions join the theme, we will sing to God and to the Lamb through eternity.
I’m willing to bet that many of us are feeling like this is our time of need. With interruptions in our work lives, family lives, and spiritual lives, it seems the time would be ripe for a miracle. We know that Christ has been raised; we are already an “Easter people,” graced with the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We don’t make believe through Lent that Jesus never rose from the grave. We know the end of the story.
While I’m doubtful that all will be cleared up by some miraculous event, I remain hopeful and confident that God is in control of this story. With God, death and suffering never have the last word, and this will be no different. God will continue to guide, sustain, and lead the church through this and any other uncertain future that may still be on the horizon.
And through eternity we’ll sing on.