Text – Ezekiel 37:1-14:
37 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.”
Ezekiel 37 shows up in the Lectionary at Easter and at Pentecost because of the powerful ways it informs both of these commemorations. Indeed, the ruach – the Spirit of God or the Breath of God is the hero of this text.
Ezekiel is shown a vision in which God took him to a valley that was covered with dry, bleached, lifeless bones. It was a great visual considering that Ezekiel was writing to his nation, Judah, who was captured by Babylon.
When considering the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the eviscerating of the strong and wise from the nation resembled the valley of dry bones. Walls broken down. Temple raided and destroyed. Haggard remnant of people left to the ruins.
But in the vision the ruach of God restored life to the dry bones. Imagining them reassembling themselves, skin covering the bones, and life animating the raised human life. It’s a good way to think about God’s Spirit animates us when we allow and invite the Spirit. When we decide that the fulness of life is better than the death of the valley.
This vision is also appropriate when we think about how Christ’s battle with evil both destroys and restores. Which is what we celebrate at Easter. Praise God.
Animating, lifegiving Father, we love thinking about that Valley of Dry bones and how it must have looked to Ezekiel as the bones began reassembling and reconstituting until the valley was filled with surprised and joyous people. May we look for that as we anticipate Easter. Every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.