The first assigned lesson this Saturday morning is Ezekiel 43:1-12.
Verse 11 touched me this morning and led me into prayer for my parish, and for all Christian preachers and congregations on Pentecost Sunday:
When they are ashamed of all that they have done,
Holy God, on the Day of Pentecost your Apostle Peter told the distressed people to repent of their sins, be baptized in Jesus' name, and receive your gift of the Holy Spirit. Deliver your church from "cheap grace." Remind us to confess our sins and so open our churches to receive a fresh outpouring of the Spirit.
portray the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, and its whole form
Holy God, your Apostle Paul wrote that your people are the new temple, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Set us free from fascination with the material things of church, however beautiful they might be, and let us see that our brothers and sisters all around us are where you dwell. Teach us again that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, unique in each person but working for the good of all, are the "form" of the temple your Spirit builds.
—all its ordinances and its entire plan and all its laws; and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe and follow the entire plan and all its ordinances.
Holy God, you are above all words, rituals, laws and everything else that goes into "religion." Fill us first and foremost with love, the evidence and most excellent way of the Holy Spirit you give us. By the Spirit remind us of what Jesus says, that only love fulfills your law and your plan.
In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.