Scripture Reading: 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.’ –Ezekiel 37:1-6
Many years ago I participated in a Bible study based on the story of the raising of Lazarus. I have long sense lost the study material, but the study itself was truly burned into my being. It address the question of whether we were, for all intents and purposes, dead like Lazarus rotting in his tomb and just going through the motions of living.
The people of Israel living in exile were, by and large, just going through the motions of living. I imagine that is what it must be like for all the refugees scattered about the world today. People fleeing Iraq and Syria, people on boats stuck in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia trying to escape from terrorist. Some hope must still exist among them though for they are people fueled at least by the will to live.
What about you and me? Those of us who live and move and have our being in the midst of plenty, in relative security, seem to be going through the motions of living also. Why?
Ezekiel’s well-known vision is designed to foster hope. The spirit of God is still moving in the world, unseen, but actively engaged in reconnecting the people of God with purpose and a future. There is more to life then obtaining the latest electronic gadget or acquiring the latest thing in fashion, cars, or homes. Being loved and loving are the key ingredients to joy and self-worth.
Prayer: Lord, enable us to love you and love others to the extent that our love is mirrored in the ways of the peoples of the earth. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.