Lent 2022 Day 28

Lent 2022 Day 28

Sat 2 Apr

Ezekiel 37:1-14 God's promises to his people

1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 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 the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

My first encounter with dry bones was from my Dad singing the spiritual, and making up unlikely bone connections as he went along. I had no idea it originated from the Bible. As you read on further in the chapter you will see that these scattered bones are being joined together – hipbones are being connected to whatever hip bones connect to – you can look it up. (I really should know – my wife has just had a hip replacement operation.) It’s a vision, remember, but it’s no less true and no less valid for it.

Ezekiel was a prophet at the time of the captivity of Judah. God’s people had been taken away from their land and their Temple. Even though they would spend an undefined time away, there would be a time when their descendants would return.

Ezekiel sees the bones, the remnants of the mighty nation, and wonders how they could ever be restored. But God knows. As the scattered bones in the vision are re-joined, and covered with flesh, and the breath of God revives them, so will the nation of Israel be revived. The people who say that their bones have dried up will know that God is the Lord. The people will be settled once more in Israel, their land. This is a promise of the God of the Covenant to his people.

Is Israel today the fulfilment of God’s promise?

Are there dry bones in your cupboard?

What does our proclamation that we are the body of Christ mean for our churches and our world?

Father God, if there are times when I feel that the fellowship you have placed me in has skeletons, then, if you do not call me to move, keep me praying for revival. Amen.

Come alive: