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Prepare Us for Resurrection and Waiting in the Tomb-21st Century Resources for Lent 5A

Prepare Us for Resurrection: A Prayer for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year A
(for Ezekiel 37:1-14 and John 11:1-45)

God, we gather today around these testimonies that life is possible, even after death. We want to believe in the resurrection of dry bones -- even ours. We say that we yearn to see Lazarus live again in our own families and in our own communities. But we are hindered. We are hindered by nagging doubts that nip at our heels: If dry bones do manage to live, how will they function; if Lazarus does come back from the pits of death, do I want him in my house?

Forgive us for behaving as though there were no resurrection -- either here and now, or later as you have promised.

God, your testimonies are true. Ezekiel's graveyard, Lazarus' tomb, and the empty tomb are reminders that you are the Lord of Life; that not even death can stop your purposes. So, today, God, we ask that you prepare our hearts for resurrection as we sit in the graveyard, waiting to feel the wind and hear you call us forth by name. Amen.

Waiting in the Tomb
(For John 11:1-45; May also be used as a gathering meditation, a monologue, or a prayer)

I heard you call my name
Calling for me to leave this place of death
Of stench and sadness
To enter a world of fresh air and light and laughter
But I was afraid to answer
Afraid that my answer would offend
Those who had never known this kind of death
Afraid of being chased back into this very tomb
Afraid of only tasting life briefly before
Being forced back to the grit and grind of this living death
That has become my dreaded existence.

But, you haven't stopped calling my name
You haven't stopped calling me by the nickname that my family used
Back in the days when I did not know pain, or fear or want
You haven't stopped calling for me like you care about me.

If I come out of here
This time, please let it be okay.