dry bones

Ezekiel 37: 4-6 "Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 

If you're not familiar with Ezekiel's vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, I recommend reading the entire thing in Ezekiel 37. This is an unusually vivid expression of God's promise to renew all things, and the imagery in it has always haunted me. 

The idea of God leading Ezekiel to a valley filled, inexplicably with the dried bones of human brings to mind images of great human tragedy. This is a sorrowful place! 

But then Ezekiel prophesies and the bones become bodies again. But initially "there was no breath in them." Ezekiel prophesies again, and the four winds come to fill the bodies with breath, and they stand up to become "a vast army" (the Hebrew word for "army" here could also be translated "force" or "strength").

It would have been easy for Ezekiel to say, "these are too old; let's just build new ones." But he was willing to lean into God's call for the dry bones in front of him. This Sunday, we're going to think about hearing and responding to God's call. As you prepare for that, consider what dry bones in your life might feel too old or dusty to redeem. He might be calling you to leave them, but he might be calling you to prophesy for new life. Spend some time listening to him for clarity  this morning.