Ezekiel's vision of a valley of dry bones gives us a bright ray of hope in our darkest hour, which might have been the death of someone we held close to our hearts or the feeling that life is pointless. Maybe we are like the people of Israel who were convinced that their bones were dried up, all hope was lost, and they were cut off completely.
But if God can make the dry bones of Ezekiel's vision rattle back together and return to life, God can quicken us as well. And if God can break down the barriers that cut us off and give us a new start and a restored life; we have every reason to hope. And if God can put our lives together when they have fallen apart, we can hold fast, face our future with faith, and move on.
Unlike the New Testament, the Old doesn't say much about a resurrection, but Ezekiel catches the vision. God will create new life out of the remnants of the old. God will put the spirit within us and we shall live. That's our bright ray of hope!
Send your Spirit to me, Gracious God. Quicken me, direct me, and empower me to live the new life you offer. Amen.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)
1 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.
2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.
3 He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord God, you know."
4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
6 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."
7 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.
8 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.
9 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."
10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11 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.'
12 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.
13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.
14 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."