St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church

Vancouver, B.C.

Phone: 604-877-1788

E-mail: office@stmarymags.ca


The Anglican Parish of St. Mary Magdalene

2950 Laurel Street at West 14th Avenue

Vancouver, BC, V5Z  3T3

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Diocese of New Westminster Anglican Church of Canada

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Due to COVID-19 pandemic the church is closed until May 2020

 Welcome to virtual church!


If you need pastoral care, call or e-mail the office

Phone: 604-877-1788   E-mail: office@stmarymags.ca

March 29th Lent 5, 2020     John Marsh


Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm  130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45


A preamble:


I would ask that we carefully consider the sacred narratives today…


All of them…


So, ruminate or if you prefer – ‘chew on it awhile’…


For, whether we are aware of it or not, our lives are filled with stories of the sacred, encounters with the holy, experiences of the depths…


Open to them – all of them, scriptural, personal and communal…


~


We need to hear – to listen…


“Mortal can these bones live?”…”prophesy to these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Holy One”…”Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, say to the breath…Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon [them] that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:3a, 4, 9)


Yes, we need to hear and then…


We need to speak…


We need to come to voice…


“I prophesied as the Holy One commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived… (Ezekiel 37:10)


We need to speak from the depths of our experience…


“Out of the depths, I cry to you…hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.” (Psalm 130:1-2)


We need to speak, to make public our experience - our story…  


For remember - there is no prison, no tomb so dark as that of imposed silence, whether imposed from within or without…


This means that we must live life as consciously, as soulfully, as courageously as we can…


We must be involved with the daily round of living, attending to our choices – choices which lean into ways of life and peace, away from ways of death… (see Romans 8:6)


In other words, whether we like it or not, we are involved…


We need to attend to the vagaries of life…


So, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you loved is ill” (John11:3)


When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and [those] who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. (John 11:32-35)


We are involved with matters of life and death and to them we must attend…


[Jesus] cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:43-44)


In other words – freedom is our work; forgiveness is our work; reconciliation (the politics of forgiveness) is our work!


We are empowered, led, inspired, and buoyed by spirit to do our work – the work of god’s calling!


Our lives – our ordinary lives are sacred – they are sacralised by breath, by sacred stirrings, by the wind in the trees…


I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live… (Ezekiel 37:14a)


This means (at least in part) that we must not dismiss god’s work by despising, ignoring or not

noticing the sacred grounding of our lives…


As the character Shug says in Alice Walker’s book, The Colour Purple:


“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the colour purple in a field somewhere and you don’t notice it.”


Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life…” (John 11:25a)


And, if you think about it, this means that the promise of life – new life, renewed life or restored life – begins in the now!


Listening, coming to voice and speaking, the voicing of our experience, our choices and our actions are the sacred narratives of our lives; they are stories of life and death, of passion and promise, of exile and return, of being lost and found, of being harmed and healed…


Share it!


PS  


A final encouragement to open to the ordinary and to share the story…


Again, as Shug says:


“...have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him (sic) to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.”

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