Sermon Series: Live Again
July 16, 2023 – Live Again
We dive back into Ezekiel and his visions of restoration this Sunday. Ezekiel writes from a place of exile from his homeland. Jerusalem has been devastated by war and destruction by the Babylonian army in the 6th Century BCE. Many of Jerusalem’s leaders were taken into exile to Babylon. All appears to be lost – home, country, family, and faith. From this place of heartbreak and uncertainty, the Lord gives Ezekiel three visions of hope for the future. The message: better days are ahead of us and not behind us. This week we look at the most familiar of the three visions – the valley of dry bones. In this amazing and visually stirring dream, the Lord sends his Spirit to give life to his people again. From the dust arises a new community empowered and re-purposed for the glory of God. I will see you Sunday as we unpack this story to learn how it inspires our faith today. From the dust, we too can rise and live again! I will see you Sunday as we unpack this story to learn how it inspires our faith today.
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 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[a] 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.’”