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 around 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." So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, `Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act," says the Lord.One of the reasons this is my favorite passage is that the transition from very dry bones to living, breathing beings is a 2-step process. First, Ezekiel prophesies as the Lord commanded, and the bones come together, sinew and flesh and skin all come upon the bones, but they are not alive. It is not until Ezekiel prophesies a second time and the breath comes into them that they can live. The word used for breath (ruach) can also mean spirit and is the same word used in the Creation account in Genesis 1 for the spirit of God. The connection this makes for me is that, even with everything else necessary in place, I cannot truly be alive until I have the spirit of God on my very breath. May you find God's spirit in your life this day and always.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Tibia Connected to the Patella
As noted at the end of yesterday's blog, I will be focusing on some of my favorite Bible stories this week. Today, I'd like to highlight this past Sunday's Old Testament lesson: The Valley of Dry Bones.
Posted by The Rev. Christopher C. Richardson at 7:28 PM