March 29, 2020

Lent 5 - Spiritual Life Depends On Relationships

Introduction to Video: Spiritual Life Depends On Our Relationships (click to view)

·      Teaching is normally near the beginning of a Holy Communion Service – after a prayer for purity and the prayer for a particular Sunday and three Bible readings
·      Since churches are closed and many people are self-isolating this video will include the Three Readings assigned for the Fifth Sunday in Lent followed by a teaching.
·      There is a 10 minute video of  a short home Eucharistic prayer on my blog page
·      Next Sunday we hope to post a complete “Palm Sunday” Eucharist with an invitation to people to “participate in their hearts” by saying Amen to the prayers.
·      A copy of the service may also be copied and pasted into a  word processor for the blog
·      The theme of the readings is our need for RELATIONSHIP – with God and our neighbour

First reading Ezekiel 37. 1-3, 11-14
·      Ezekiel was a Hebrew priest and prophet during the Babylonian captivity around 600 years before the birth of Christ
·      Vision is part of a God’s promise to restore Israel to life in a renewed relationship of love and obedience to God

Gospel Reading John 11.17-43
·      Story of the raising of Lazarus from death as a sign from God that He will raise from death all those who believe in Jesus Christ
·      Lazarus, like all serious Christians was in a spiritual relationship of love with Jesus

New Testament Reading: Romans 8. 5-11
·      Apostle Paul is explaining the new spiritual life all Christian believers have
·      Bad news is no resurrection for those cultural and intellectual Christians who do not have the Spirit of  God living in them
·      Good news is those who have the Spirit of God living in them have eternal spiritual life
·      Difference is what your mind, will or soul is controlled by
o   Diagram shows the Spirit – Soul - Body Relationship
o   Based on Creation story – body made of clay then breathed on by God’s Spirit
o   Soul is the overlap
o   Our personal Spirit is our intuition, our emotional connection to God and others
§  Where the Holy Spirit comes and lives to guide, comfort and heal us
§  Holy Spirit can not live on a spiritual garbage dumb – need to repent, confess and be forgiven our sins
§  As we read the Bible, pray and focus more on the divine our Spirit grows stronger and can influence or control our mind and will
o   Our soul is a battleground in the middle – we have free will to reject God and only pay attention to our ego and bodily desires – food, drink, sex, power, prestige, control
§  If we choose to live more “according to the flesh” our personal spirit weakens and we become separated from God and isolated from people
§  It’s called selfishness, self-centredness or hell
The antidote to isolation is reaching out to Jesus and others - developing relationships


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