Signs of Life
by Cynthia Myers
Ezekiel 37:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
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.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.He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
God asked Ezekiel an impossible question. Ezekiel didn’t pretend to know; he knew that only God could answer the question. The bones were silent witnesses that life had once existed. The bones represented the collective hope of the Jewish people. When they were taken into exile in Babylon, they felt hopeless, forsaken by God, and spiritually dead.
Ezekiel’s point of view was limited; he could only see what was before him. God’s view is infinite. He can see what is, what was, and what will be. God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones telling them, “Hear the word of the Lord!” Then there was a sound of rattling as the bones joined together. But they were lifeless, little more than dust. When God’s breath entered them, they stood – a vast army.
God’s question resonates today. Ezekiel’s vision provides a glimpse of a future date when all of God’s people will come together – much like the bones. Until that day, the valley remains full of dry bones. Who is willing to prophesy to the bones? The world is the valley and we – the church – is the God-breathed army that is called to speak a message of life, hope, and reconciliation. We may not hear the sound of bones rattling, but we can certainly hear the cries of joy for the ones who were once spiritually dead but are now alive.
Come out to the valley, see, speak, hear, and know that God’s breath continues to go forth bringing life from death.
Prayer: Lord you have strengthened us for the work at hand. Send us forth to places of your choosing to share the Good News. Amen