Read Ezekiel 37.1-14

                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.

 

From Rev. Dr. Victor Hunter, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), New Martinsville

Ezekiel’s double vision is stark.

Death.  Dry bones.  Hopeless.  Lifeless.  Disintegration.

                The prophetic Word calls forth the wind, the breath,

                                the spirit.  Resurrection.  Life alive.

                Lent is about the dry bones of our scattered illusions and the life-giving word.  In Lent we do not stand before a mirror; we kneel before God.  It is not things, but illusions we are invited to give up.

                 Lent’s liturgical word with ashes is “You are dust and to dust you shall return.  Repent and believe the gospel.” Ponder Auden’s haunting words:

We would rather be ruined than changed,

We would rather die in our dread

Than climb the cross of the moment

And let our illusions die.

                The question for this penitential season:  “What is the word that gives life?”

Blow across the bones of our lives, Spirit of Life,
and stir us again.
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