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Stained glass window in loving memory of Warn F. Bryan.  








April 6, 2014

Harmony is Healing! If you know this Truth, join a small group of open-minded folks who sing our prayers together with acoustic accompaniment each Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
College-level, non-denominational, Adult Religious Education classes 10:00 a.m. Sundays.
Multi-cultural Spirituality -- Fridays: Meditation group 11:00 a.m.; Reiki Healing Circle 5:00 p.m.
UCC/Congregational: 2154 Garden Ave. Progressive Christianity in Klamath Falls since 1926.


Today the message is about renewal and resurrection! From the desperation and despair of the drought devastated valley, from the dry and dusty bones of darkness and hopelessness, from the loneliness of abandonment comes the clarity of the voice of the Creator. Prophesy to these bones and they shall have life. Hope is in our relationships. Our relationship with God and our relationships with one another are part of what manifests our reality. Believe in the miracles. They happen!

Babylonian Exile-loss, hopelessness, no sense of connection people were uprooted from their homeland, forced to leave the land of milk and honey that had so long sustained them.

The very body of their faith community broken asunder. This was a time of great darkness. It was a time of spiritual drought. How could God have forsaken us in this way!

Then the prophet comes to the valley and sees for himself the total loss of all that had once been of importance and beauty. The word of the Lord calls out to him. He is called to tell the dry bones he sees in a vast multitude to live again. He is called to tell the dry bones to be filled with the breath of life and spirit. He is called to tell the bones to rise up from the graves of that same hopelessness and despair and all that you have lost will be restored.

Ezekiel spoke as he was commanded to do so, and all that the Lord had told him would happen occurred. Do you believe in Miracles? Do you believe that the spirit is there in times of need….In whom do we place our trust?

The community is coming together to resolve the water issues that have been dividing us. We have come together to agree how to share the precious resource that water is to all of us. Thank you Creator for wisdom and discernment. Thank you Creator for the ability to know that in cooperation and community is survival.

Jesus calls out to Lazarus in the Gospel today. He has taken his time to get to Bethany. This is on his way to Jerusalem…This is on the way to his own death and resurrection. This is on his way to his own crisis in faith. He will show once more that he is who he has claimed that he is. Martha and Mary both are is sorrow. They both grieve. They both question the timing of Jesus. The people, the community gather and mourn with the sisters.

Roll away the stone! Come out to me Lazarus! Live again though you have been in the grave these four days.

Time did not matter. Distance did not matter. The Spirit within Jesus did. Jesus wept.
Jesus wept out of sorrow for the pain that Martha and Mary experienced. Jesus wept for the disbelief that was still present in those that knew him. Jesus wept over knowing that even though he had prophesied about all the events that were to unfold, it was still not enough.

Do you Do you Do you Do you Do you Do you believe
That I am the life, that I am the light that I am the way?
Rise Lazarus Rise Rise Lazarus Rise Rise up from the grave
Know I am am the way Do you believe?

Martha Martha Martha do you believe
That I am the life, that I am the light that I am the way?
Rise Lazarus Rise Rise Lazarus Rise Rise up from the grave
Know I am am the way Do you believe?

Mary Mary Mary Do you believe?
That I am the life, that I am the light that I am the way?
Rise Lazarus Rise Rise Lazarus Rise Rise up from the grave
Know I am am the way Do you believe?

Jerusalem Do you believe
That I am the life, that I am the light that I am the way?
Rise Lazarus Rise Rise Lazarus Rise Rise up from the grave
Know I am the way Do you believe?

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The 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. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord God, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I 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."

So 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. I 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. Then 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." I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then 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.' Therefore 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. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I 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."

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O God.
Oh God, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O God, should mark iniquities,
who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.

I wait for God, my soul waits,
and in God's word I hope;

my soul waits for God
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in God!
For with God there is steadfast love,
with God is great power to redeem.
It is God who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

Romans 8:6-11

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law — indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." 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." Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?" 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. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them." After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him." The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right." Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you." And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 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." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me. 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." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 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."

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

David and Pat Hedelman, and your friends who are The United Church of Christ/Congregational 2154 Garden Ave. Klamath Falls, OR 97601