SUNDAY’S SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14 (New International Version)

                                                March 26, 2023 

                                     “The Valley of Dry Bones”

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.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 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.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

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.’”                                    


Have you ever thought of yourself as a “Jedi for Jesus.” My hunch is … No. How about as part of Jesus’ army, or maybe you’re a spiritual warrior. Or, maybe not. In any event, I get inspired when thinking about my calling on earth to be somehow related to a big spiritual revolution that is taking place right now in the world, and even the smallest things I do for Christ have a huge impact on the success of this revolution.

And … it’s a “Jesus Revolution!” It’s most definitely not a military operation. Its “weapons” are unconditional love for all of creation and a willingness to die for the cause. That may not sound like much … but those are two powerful weapons. Does that get you a little more excited?

In our scripture this week from the Book of Ezekiel, there’s a battlefield covered with dry bones. That’s it. Just the bones. God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. When he does, the bones clatter together and are covered with sinews, muscles and skin. The dead bones have become human bodies. But still dead.

Then God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath (aka wind or spirit). When he does, the breath comes upon the bodies and the bodies are filled with life. The breath of life. And then God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the people. When he does, the graves are open and the people rise up and have life with the spirit in them.

Is this when our mission here on earth begins? Once we have the “breath of God” blown into us, are we now ready to undertake the cause for which Jesus came to earth to ignite? What would such a mission look like?

From his classic book, “Mere Christianity,” here is how C .S. Lewis described this “mission” that we have on this earth:

Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening–in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean, at this time of day, to re-introduce our old friend the devil-—hoofs and horns and all?’ Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is ‘Yes, I do. I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person. ‘Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will. Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.’

So … how is your conceit, laziness or intellectual snobbery these days? More importantly, how is your relationship with Jesus these days? You see, we are in enemy-occupied territory, and God needs all the help that you can give. We are all part of a “great campaign of sabotage.” Or, are we accepting things just the way they are?

Let’s Journey to the Cross Together … Pastor Bob <><