Tuesday: March 20                                                     

 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.

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            An old man was once asked why he remained so hopeful, even when things went wrong.  The old man replied, “Because I believe that God is new every morning.  I believe that God is creating the world today, at this very moment.  That means we must always expect the unexpected.”

            Then we read these words of Ezekiel where he faced the valley of dry bones.  All the bones were scattered – none of them connected.  Then God asked the question, “Can these bones rise?”

            The question that God was asking was, “Do you still have any hope?”  Sometimes, we find ourselves in the valley of dry bones.  At those times we feel as if we have no hope.  And then comes Easter, and as a people, we know there will be a better tomorrow.  Jesus died to provide for us a new ray of hope, and a promise and assurance that we will always have the hope he gives us as his children.  Lent reminds us that our only hope is in God, who provided new life through Christ.  If God can raise dry bones, he can raise Jesus from death.

Remind us of your promises this day, O God,

that we may experience fresh hope in you.

Rev. Charles Wood

Logan, WV

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