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Message from Our Pastor

Hoffman blk lent 20 03

Excerpts from Pastor Hoffman’s sermon for March 29, 2020. Relevant text: Ezekiel 37: 1-14 & John 11: 1-45

I happen to think that these readings are two of the best readings for us at this particular time and place where we find ourselves in society now. 

What better hope is there than dry bones which are going to live and the hope that those things dead are going to be brought to life. 

You don’t even have to go from here to the Easter story. All the dryness around us, all that’s dried up within us, not being able to see each other in person. 

There are ways in which we can connect with technology, but it’s not the same as having our sinews, our muscles and our breath all in the same place with each other. 

Nor is it the same when we are with family, as we here the stories of people who really need to be with their families because of illness, or because family members are dying. 

They can’t be there. They can’t be in the hospice. They can’t be in the hospital. They can’t be in the nursing home. That is just devastating in ways beyond comprehension.

There is much dryness.

But, there is hope. There is rain that comes to the dryness. There is rain that comes to the desert. When it does, it causes a “super-bloom,” like last year in Arizona and California. The desert was full of blooms. 

There is life that comes from having to be apart. Families get to know each other in different ways. They get to rebuild connections lost when people had to work overtime, or each child had a different activity. You couldn’t have dinner together. Now you can. And, parents and kids can read together. 

There is hope in our midst. After Good Friday there is an Easter Sunday. We may not even get to experience it on Easter, as we don’t expect to be back in our sanctuary then. 

But the truth is still there. The truth of the gospel lesson is that Jesus has the power over death. God has the power over dry bones, to bring them back to life.

Where, within you, within your life, are the dry bones? What has dried up within you that needs new life? What, within you, has died? What need to be brought back to life? 

Those are the prayers for you to take to God, to Jesus, this week.

If nothing comes immediately to mind, don’t go searching for them. They will come up on their own.

Even the desert blooms. Even the dead are given new life. After the storm, there is the rainbow. 

Look for the rainbows. See the blessings that come as a result of going through, and coming out the other side.

That’s the hope that Lazarus gave us. That’s the hope of the dry bones. Amen.

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