Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, have participants respond to the following question. “What have you learned during this Lenten season?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 11:1-45; Psalm 130.
- Where do you find conviction and hope in Psalm 130?
- What might have been your response to the question God asked Ezekiel in 37:3?
- What might it look like for God to breathe new life into your church today? What would that look like for the church? What would it mean for the larger community?
- What are some of the emotions Jesus might have felt when he was weeping in John 11:35? How might verse 38 give us a clue?
- Imagine you were a witness to Lazarus’s resuscitation (Technically, Lazarus was resuscitated, not resurrected. Lazarus would physically die again.) What do you feel? What does it smell like? What new questions does this experience spark?
- How do these passages help us stand or find a grounding for who we are and what we (as the church) are about?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of New Life, breathe anew in us today. Breathe a fresh wind of hope, life, and joy in each of us and in the life of our congregation. Through your mercy and grace, give us assurance of whose we are and empower us to live according to your holy character. Amen.