Dear Cathedral Family,
Again this week, we will live stream Morning Prayer, Rite One, as we continue to “wait for one another” (to use Paul’s language in 1 Corinthians 11:33) in shared communion.
The themes of the readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent strike close to home for our world in the present moment. In Ezekiel’s cinematic depiction of the Valley of Dry Bones, God demonstrates how the divine life moves through human work and human bodies to restore life in situations that appear desolate and dire. When we think “these bones” can’t live, God shows that through his power they can assume new form and life. Jesus delays his visit to Lazarus until it seems to be too late to help, but then demonstrates God’s power to create life out of death. Reflecting on these lessons prepares us for the coming passion of Christ and points us on toward his resurrection. These readings also have much to teach us about God’s work through our present crisis—as well as great hope to give us that God’s life-giving power is at work and that new, resurrected life will come out of these times.
Our psalm is one of the most deeply felt penitential psalms, expressing our feeling of disorientation and distance and our “waiting” for the Lord in times when we need hope. When the psalmist writes, “My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning,” we are reminded that God’s help often comes in the morning after a sleepless night of praying and waiting. You may be having moments of anxiety or trouble sleeping (I know sometimes I am). This psalm gives voice to those feelings and leads us into prayer that offers them to God.
This Sunday, we will conclude Morning Prayer with the Supplication found on pages 154-55 of the Prayer Book, where the rubrics say that it may be used as a devotion “especially in times of war, or of national anxiety, or of disaster.” Like our readings for this week, this prayer expresses confidence in God’s mercy and help. It encourages us to trust and serve.
Please continue to pray every day, to get plenty of fresh air, to check on each other, and to stay in touch. I continue to hold you all close in my thoughts and in my prayers as we move together through this time of change.