The opening song is, ‘Jesus calls us here to meet him’, by John L. Bell and Graham Maule. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
We come to hear the Good News, to embody the love of God in Christ as we share our lives with others. .
You may like to light a candle at this time.
God’s truth is revealed in Jesus Christ the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.
Let us come into this place and time as the people of the community of Christ.
Jesus said: ‘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?’
Lord let us be a people of life and hope. And yes Lord, we believe, but help our unbelief. We come today, in belief, as a people of the living God. Let us draw ourselves into silent prayer and confession. [silence] Let us hear that we are forgiven in Christ. Lord, touch us once more with your peace and presence we pray. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from chapter 11 of the Gospel of John. The words of the reading are below. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.
Jesus hears about the illness of Lazarus
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.”
Martha told her father will rise again
(verses 17, 20-27)
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 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.”
Jesus weeps and raises Lazarus from the dead
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 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 upward 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.
Dramatic readings from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message is brought to you by Mark Faulkner from the Saltbush Community. In our season of Lent we come to the long passage from the Gospel of John of the account of Jesus raising Lazarus to life! How do we sit within this passage and listen to it from the reality of our own lives? We invite you to continue our journey towards the cross as we think once more about both life and death… and being human as part of our faith in God.
Gently, talk and listen about how this passage speaks into your own life? Is there a word for the church in our passage?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, “Rescue”, by Lauren Daigle. If you have problems connecting, also try this link at YouTube:
Prayers for Others
Let us pray,
Eternal God, where there is hope, you are there. Where there is compassion and the desire for wholeness, you are there. And where there is the struggle for peace, you are there. Where the hungry are fed, and the poor empowered, you are there. Where there is delight in the trees of the land, or the depths of the seas, you are there. Wherever love is announced, you are there.
In you is such longing for your creation, and for humanity, and we thank you for that presence of you, in Spirit, in people, renewing, calling, and saving. O Christ we open ourselves in prayer for:
Your creation …Silence
For others we have heard about throughout our world …Silence
For other people we know and are close to … Silence
For our church and our wider community …Silence
For ourselves …Silence Amen.
Go out into the world, to love and serve the Lord. Bless us and the people we meet along the way. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
‘I am the resurrection and the life’, by Karen Davis with Steve Carpenter. If you have problems connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
The prayers & sermon are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: