Worship for Sunday 23rd May 2021, by Rev. Krystyna Kwarciak

Call to worship    

The Spirit of God has brought us here.

The Lord has set us down here,

though our bones are tired.

Can these dry bones live?

Yes!  The Breath of God will revive us! 

The Word of God will awaken us!

Today, we come together to experience new life.

Let us give thanks to the Wild, Life-Giving Spirit of God!


Opening prayer

Holy Spirit, Creator,
in the beginning you moved over the waters.
From your breath all creation drew life.
Without you, life turns to dust.
Come, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit, Counsellor,
by your inspiration, the prophets spoke and acted in faith.
You clothed them in power to be bearers of your Word.
Come, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit, Power,
you came as fire to Jesus’ disciples;
you gave them voice before the rulers of this world.
Come, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit, Sanctifier,
you created us children of God;
you make us the living temple of your presence;
you intercede within us with sighs too deep for words.
Come, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit, Giver of life,
you guide and make holy the church you create;
you give gifts:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude,
the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of the fear of the Lord,
that the whole creation may become what you want it to be.
Come, Holy Spirit!

True and only Light,
from whom comes every good gift.
Send your Spirit into our lives
with the power of a mighty wind.
Open the horizons of our minds
by the flame of your wisdom.
Loosen our tongues to show your praise,
for only in your Spirit can we voice your words of peace
and acclaim Jesus as Lord.  Amen

StF 370: Breathe on me, Breath of God

  1. Breathe on me, breath of God:
    fill me with life anew,
    that I may love as you have loved
    and do as you would do.
  1. Breathe on me, breath of God,
    until my heart is pure,
    until my will is one with yours
    to do and to endure.
  1. Breathe on me, breath of God;
    fulfil my heart’s desire,
    until this earthly part of me
    glows with your heavenly fire.
  1. Breathe on me, breath of God;
    so shall I never die,
    but live with you the perfect life
    of your eternity.

Ezekiel 37,1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’ I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


You might be wondering why we have that strange story from Ezekiel for Pentecost. A load of dusty bones that rattle themselves together and stand up to make an army of skeletons? It’s something straight out of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

But this passage is not about zombie warriors, it’s about hope, it’s about God-with-us, it’s about life.

Ezekiel has a vision and sees masses of dry bones, hundreds of them, scattered over the valley floor. It looks like some appalling defeat in battle, and this is what is left of the losing side. Pretty depressing, useless and dead.

In today’s world we don’t see battlefields very often, but we still have our fallen and our wounded. People who feel worthless or a failure, not matching up to what we think we should be. Money worries, addictions, fear of the future, regrets of the past, unhealthy relationships, hidden anger, frustration…being a Christian does not make us immune to all that.

We all bear the scars of walking through this world and we can all, at some time or other, feel like those dry bones. The rubbish left after the battle. Useless and dead.

“Can these bones live?” God asks Ezekiel.

“Sovereign Lord, you alone know”, he replies.

I love that answer. “God knows. Because I certainly don’t.”

Who are we, who am I, to think that I could possibly be of any use in God’s kingdom? I’m just a bunch of dried up bones with too many troubles of my own to be of any use. But you know what? The dry bones don’t stay like that. They get drawn together and clothed in flesh.

In verse 5 God says to the bones “I will make breath enter you.” That word ‘breath’ is also wind or spirit. It’s like in the Garden of Eden, when God “formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”. God’s breath is life and spirit and wind. The wind of change, we might say, because it is the breath, life, spirit, wind that makes all the difference.

What happened on The Day of Pentecost to the frightened disciples was the same as happened in Genesis 2, and the same as happened in Ezekiel’s vision – breath, life, spirit, wind. The non-living becomes a living thing: dust becomes man, dry bones become warriors, ordinary people, battle-scarred from the troubles of life, some with anger issues, some greedy, some gossips, some who just can’t commit, through the Holy Spirit, become the wind of change.

And this was not just for them, it is for us too. Jesus, in John’s gospel, promises this same Spirit to all God’s children. This is the ultimate God-with-us, God IN us! And that means that we are a whole lot more than dry bones.

StF 375: Come, O everlasting Spirit

  1. Come, O everlasting Spirit,
    bring to every thankful mind
    all the Saviour’s dying merit,
    sufferings for all humankind;
  2. True Recorder of his passion,
    now the living faith impart,
    now reveal his great salvation,
    preach his gospel to our heart.
  3. Come as Witness of his dying;
    come Remembrancer divine,
    let us feel your power, applying
    Christ to every soul, and mine.

Closing prayers

Great God, you wrap us round with love,
like a mighty, gentle mother,
and you carry us like a strong and tender father,
setting us on our feet
to be your free, mature and joyful daughters and sons.
Now, in our weakness, we pray to you
because we cannot come through life’s troubles unscathed;
and, with souls and bodies stressed and strained,
we cannot meet each other’s needs without your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God’s love.

Great God, we come to you with the resurrected Christ,
who bore the weight of human flesh and blood to Calvary,

for your love’s sake;
and even now, as conqueror of death,
he pleads with you for all your suffering children.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God’s love.

We join our prayers to the prayers of Christ
for those we know who are ill or troubled,
and for all your suffering children who are beyond our reach of mind:
we know that all are brought home to your heart
in the prayers of Christ
and in the silent intercessions of your Spirit,
who comes from your deep heart to ours,
and returns again to you with all our deepest longings.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God’s love.

Heal us and help us, comfort and strengthen us, deepen our joy.
Let our love reflect your might tenderness

and serve you healing gentleness.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God’s love.

Eternal God, there is great longing in the world;
people are desperate because of the suffering they endure.
Earth cries out for peace; oppressed people cry for justice;
women, men and children weep in sorrow and pain.
How can we have any hope for the world,
unless you are with us?

Through all the mystery of pain, sorrow and human vulnerability,
we dare to believe that you are on our side,
that your love for us is greater than ours for you or for each other.
Call us, then, to prophesy!
By the lives we live, by our patience, by our compassion,
by our belief in the future you will make for us,
let your Church proclaim the great things you are doing,
with hope for the nations of the world,
for every person born, and every living creature.

Holy Spirit, come with healing power;
Spirit, gift of Christ, fill us with us God’s love.

So, Living God, let praise begin, here and now with us,
welling up from our hearts,
rising towards the skies,
until praise fills the universe and joy is unconfined:
as you delight in us and we delight in you, for evermore.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, 

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom

The power, and the glory

For ever and ever.


StF 163: When listening prophets dare to speak




As you enter a new week,

may you experience God’s presence. 

May you feel God pouring out the Holy Spirit

over your heads and your thoughts and the words of your lips,

over your hearts and your feelings and emotions

and your compassion for all others,

and over your hands and your feet

as you put into action all that God commands you. 


During this week,

may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with each of you.