Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Born of the Spirit

What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
—John 3:6
When you hide your face, bewildered they yearn.
When you take their breath, to dust they return.
When you send your Spirit, created are they.
The face of the ground you renew every day.
—Psalm 104:29-30
Suggested tune (Hanover):
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 around 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.
—Ezekiel 37:1-10
The door of life is closed to all until they have been reborn.
—John Calvin, Institutes 2.1.6
I praise thee, Lord,
for cleansing me from sin;
fulfill thy Word,
and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
where once I burned with shame;
grant my desire
to magnify thy Name. Amen.
—J. Edwin Orr

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