‘A dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. An’ I hear the word of the Lord!’ – (spiritual song by James Weldon Johnson)
At this time of global pandemic, we live with stark reality of death and life. Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (37:1-14) was given when God’s people were in exile in Babylon. They felt dead, being separated from home and God! The vision answers God’s question: ‘can these bones live?’.
We can also feel cut off from God, facing the loss of job, business, home or health, with churches unable to meet on Sundays. This vision assures us that God has power over death and can breathe new life into what is hopeless.
When Ezekiel is told to ‘prophesy to the bones,’ God brings them back to life: the bones come together and are covered with muscles and skin. He then prophesies to the wind, from the four corners of the earth, to bring the bodies alive. The physical bodies are then filled with God’s breath to bring new life. The miracle of this story is that God not only makes these bones live, but also brings the life of His Spirit.
The Covid-19 virus robs people of their life by suffocation, so that they can’t breathe. Our hope beyond the pandemic is that the gift of God’s Spirit will bring new life to our lives, churches and world. Life will certainly look very different in the future, but we can be assured that God is with us and that we are safe in His hands.
‘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.’(vs14)
What a wonderful promise that is as we approach Pentecost!
Yours with much love in Christ,
Vicar of Cumnor
This weeks news…
Sunday Service Online
This Sunday’s online service is led by Jonathan with David Wenham preaching and another special appearance from the St Michael’s Church Choir. It will be online at 10:30am on Sunday 17th May, https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online-17th-may-2020/, or you can listen in by phoning 01865 920993.
Virtual Coffee Time
After the service on Sunday at 11:30am, we will be gathering together on Zoom to catch up with one another.
If you’re not used to using zoom, there is a handy guide here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting
Simply click on this link to join in:
Meeting ID: 918 7902 0693
Big Story Sunday Online – May
Our monthly service for Children and Families is now online with lively worship, storytelling and creative prayer. Why not join us? And please invite anyone you know with primary school aged kids (or thereabouts!).https://cumnor.org/big-story-sunday-may-2020/
Ascension Day Service
On Thursday 21st May (Ascension Day) at about 12pm we will be releasing a special service of Evening Prayer for Ascension Day. Jonathan will be leading and Chris Scruby preaching. It will be available online at https://cumnor.org/ascension-day-service-2020/, or you’ll be able to listen in by phoning our worship line, 01865 920993.
Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”2 Chronicles 7:14
The new weekly prayer meeting got off to a great start on Monday. Join us each week as we gather together online to pray for one another, our families, friends and neighbours, our parish, our nation and the world. We’ll be using Zoom. Everyone is welcome. For more details on how to connect, see this web page.
Christian Aid Week
We have long supported Christian Aid in the Parish but unfortunately due to All This ™ this year we are unable to organise either doorstep collections or the Big Breakfast.
Christian Aid helps families in the UK and all over the world to overcome poverty and injustice, wherever the need is greatest. The charity says on its website: ‘Love never fails. Coronavirus impacts all of us. But love unites us all’.
There is still an opportunity, if you can, to donate using the e-envelopes available online. Please visit www.christianaid.org.uk for more information.
David Lockett on Art and Faith
David has recorded another in his series of video talks exploring the connections between art and faith. This time he’s considering Piero della Francesca’s fresco ‘The Resurrection’. https://cumnor.org/david-lockett-on-the-resurrection-by-piero-della-francesca/
Please Continue To Pray For…
- Those doing the Alpha Course
- Those on the frontline in NHS and care homes.
- The families of Janet Gow, and Marjorie & Brian Tomkins, who have recently passed away.
- Those struggling to care for the vulnerable and confused at home without the normal respite services.
- School teachers and pupils as they continue to adapt to learning from home and plan for a possible return to school.
- All those feeling lonely and isolated.
- All those who are ill.
- Our mission partner Bia.