02 Apr Dry Bones Dancing
A Devastating Scene
Imagine, if you will, the scene surrounding the prophet Ezekiel – taken by the Lord to a valley filled with dry bones. What kind of devastation must there have been for all of that death to take place so that there was not even anyone to bury the dead?
That was the condition surrounding Israel in Ezekiel’s time. Israel had lost every one of its young men to the Babylonian army. The chosen people of God were utterly wiped out, the temple was gone, and there was no food, no money, and no hope. And why was there no one to bury the dead? Because all the rest of Israel had been led back to Babylon as slaves.
Israel had lost all hope in God and in itself. Maybe there was no God, maybe that whole promise God made to Israel was a lie, maybe this was all there is and there’s nothing left for us to truly put our hope in!
Made Alive Again
Enter Ezekiel, led by God to survey the valley of bones. “Can these bones live Ezekiel, ” God asked. “ Only you know, Lord if those bones shall live again.” And God began to put those bones back together, sinew and skin appear and soon all of the dead had come to back to life again, at God’s command.
God took what was dead and made it alive again.
As we walk with Jesus Christ towards the cross we are often left standing in the valley of dry bones are we not? Many, if not most, of us, have confronted the realities of death, have struggled with hopelessness, have wondered in the midst of seemingly insurmountable grief or sadness whether there really is a God and if there is a God why He had forsaken us have we not?
In these past days and weeks as we have watched seemingly powerless over the arrival of this unseen virus that has begun to wreak so much havoc in our country and our world. As we have wondered what to do when news of a layoff arrives, or a loved one is sick, or someone has passed away and we can’t even hold a funeral… where is God in all of this? How can we possibly find the strength to continue to believe?
Can these dry bones come back to life?
Listen: we cannot but our own strength or understanding bring our own bones (our faith!) back to life, only God can do that. But the great thing is this: God has already promised to do just that. When the grave starts to close in on us, no shelter from the sun, our bones turning bone dry, white, dead…God brings to you and me new life.
Let us pray,
“O Breath of God, come from the four winds and breathe, breathe upon all of us who are dead, bring life to these dead bones that they might live and live in you. Open our graves and bring us forth to a new life, confessing that you are our God.”