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Sessions

Isaiah: Touch of the Burning CoalJeremiah: How Long Will the Land Mourn?Ezekiel: From Heart of Stone to Heart of FleshThe Book of the Twelve: Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters

Biblical prophets/Ezekiel: From Heart of Stone to Heart of Flesh

Meditation and Reading taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible
All other text by Cynthia Stewart

For a historical introduction to this sacred text, see Leader Resource 1: Historical Introduction -
Today's Themes

In Ezekiel we see strongly the themes of retribution and restoration. The people’s own actions, we are told, have brought down the judgment upon them, the judgement that the Lord will execute. But judgment is not – and can never be – the end of the story: the Lord is with his people in judgment and exile just as much as he is with them in prosperity and worship in the holy places. We are told over and over that God calls his people, all people, to himself; and what is more, he promises himself to them in an ever-renewing relationship.

Call To Worship

Sometimes the universe thunders at us from on high;
     sometimes we hear the still, small voice in the silence of our hearts.

If the thunder is ringing in your ears and judgment has fallen upon you,
     we offer you solace.

If the quiet voice is unfolding within you,
     we offer you the space to hear it.
Whoever you are, whatever you experience, however you came to be here,
     we offer you the welcome of the beloved community.

Let us join our hearts in worship together.

Meditation

[T]hus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:
An end! The end has come
     upon the four corners of the land.
Now the end is upon you,
     I will let loose my anger upon you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
     I will punish you for your abominations.
My eye will not spare you, I will have no pity…
Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 7:1-4 (NRSV)

Reading

     The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with their ways and their deeds]..So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for the idols with which they had defiled it. I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them…
     Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God:…I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit. I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

Ezekiel 36:16-19, 22, 24-28 (NRSV)

Benediction

We have all felt the judgment;
     Let us all know the hope.
We have all fallen under the weight of our own cares;
     Let us all arise with renewed courage.
We have all come together to hear prophetic words;
     Let us all leave with the knowledge of love and acceptance wound tightly
     into our hearts.