Read: Ezekiel 37:1-14
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry. Then he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I replied, “Lord God , only you know.” He said to me, “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord ! This is what the Lord God says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live. I will put tendons on you, make flesh grow on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord .” So I prophesied as I had been commanded. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. As I looked, tendons appeared on them, flesh grew, and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man. Say to it: This is what the Lord God says: Breath, come from the four winds and breathe into these slain so that they may live!” So I prophesied as he commanded me; the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a vast army. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ Therefore, prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, my people, and lead you into the land of Israel. You will know that I am the Lord , my people, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord . I have spoken, and I will do it. This is the declaration of the Lord .’”
Ezekiel was a prophet (someone called by God to speak on behalf of God to His people (the Israelites). God spoke to Ezekiel in visions. Even if God doesn’t give us literal dreams, we all need vision in our lives to see things the way God does. God’s people (Israel) were exiled from their homeland, had no king, and no temple to worship God. They got into this mess because they were divided and not following God’s commands. It would have been almost impossible to imagine how this situation could be remedied, but God gave Ezekiel this vision to give him hope that the God we serve can bring even the driest of dead bones back to life again. What’s dead around you? How is God speaking to you now about His plan to redeem it?
The truth is that we were once like the dead bones in this story. Our sin separated us from God and we were hopeless to fix it, but “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, Jesus, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV) Jesus brought us from death to life when He died on the cross and was raised again three days later.
God, as I look around this world, there are so many dry bones. Things seem hopeless. Thank you for the reminder today that you can even save the person who seems the furthest from you. Like Ezekiel, help me to believe it and be a part of the resurrection story you are telling right now!
Visit a retirement or nursing home with some friends. Sing carols or just talk with the residents.