The Scripture reading for this week is Ezekiel 37:1-14
|Complete with props for Children's Time.|
Early Thoughts: Ezekiel stands in a place reeking of death and despair and he looks for signs of hope and life. Or more to the point, God leads Ezekiel to a place of death and asks if there is life.
Near the end of Lord of the Rings, after the battles have been fought and won, Gandalf takes the new king out to a desolate place. Aragorn asks for a sign of hope that his line will endure and Gandalf tells him to turn away from the city and look out into the desolation, where all seems dead. There Aragorn sees a seedling of the White Tree, a sign of the continuing line of Elendil. He finds his hope, not in the battle victory, or in his coronation, or in the celebrations of his people, but in the middle of a dead plain.
Similarly Ezekiel is looking for hope. His people have been enslaved and exiled. Their temple and city have been destroyed. They wonder if they have bee cut off from or forgotten by God. And God gives him a vision of skeletons lying jumbled in a ditch. "Mortal, can these bones live?"
Transformation needs us to be open to the Spirit's work within us. Transformation means we need to be able to give the same answer Ezekiel gave "O Lord God, you know". The bones were not alive even when reassembled and covered in flesh. They were only alive when the ruah, the Spirit that first moved over the waters of creation, the breath of life, was blown into them. For full transformation, for full resurrection, we need to let the winds of God fill us and change us. Are we ready to be transformed? Are we ready to look in the desolate places for new signs of life?
It is easy to lose hope. It is easy to think that death and decay will win. Ezekiel reminds us that God brings life, brings resurrection, brings hope. Where do you see God's transforming power bringing new life today?