Fifth Sunday in Lent
God of all consolation and hope, you breathe life into dry bones and weary souls:
Pour out your Spirit upon us, that we may face despair and death in the hope of the resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
READING Ezekiel 37: 1-14
I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones.
2 He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry.
3 He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”
I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!”
4 He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord.
5 Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life.
6 I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
READING Romans 8: 6-11
8 Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.
9 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.
GOSPEL according to John 11: 1-45
2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.
3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,
6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.
10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.”
32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
PRAYER for Africa
God, refresh Africa and all the world,
Protect and grow our children.
Convict with justice and truth, all our leaders
And fill all hearts with your peace.
For Jesus Christ sake. Amen.
Go now and walk in the light of Christ.
Trust in the one who is resurrection and life.
Stand firm before the forces of death
and speak words of life.