Reflection for the week 18 March 2018
Speak to the dry bones
The valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37) is one of the most evocative of pictures from a prophet who used plenty of vivid imagery to get his message across. This one has given rise to songs (the spiritual 'Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones') and poetry ('Those dry bones get everywhere' and 'Can these bones live').
But apart from sending shivers down the spine as we picture the scene when Ezekiel is told to speak God's word to the dry bones:
A movement as of pebbles rolling grinding, rattling bones impelled by unseen force
joining together leg to hip, curved spine and rib to swinging arm, and balanced shakily
with grinning skull each stood a shivering skeleton.
What does this story tell us today?
We are asked to reflect on day 5 this week of places and people in our town, country or the wider world on what seems hopeless, helpless or dead. And then to remember Ezekiel was told to call the wind, the breath of God into the dead:
Each one caught breath, heaved it into lungs, rib-cages rising, gasping with open mouth.
And on a breath, a sigh, each one exhaled the name of God: Yahweh.
We are then asked to pray the words of truth and life into those situations:
Those dry bones get everywhere
But so does the breath of God.