What I’m Thinking: Dry Bones

Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones drawing together is a word of hope for us today.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the thirty-seventh chapter of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:1-14), his vision of the valley of the dry bones.

Ezekiel describes the Spirit of God taking him to this valley. I presume it’s in his imagination or in his mind. And the valley is full of bones, and the bones (I love this detail) are very dry.

God directs Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones, to tell them that they will be filled with breath again. Ezekiel declares that message, and then watches the bones draw together and flesh and sinews come upon them. Then God directs Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath, and to direct the breath, the spirit, the ruach, into the bones. Ezekiel does that, and now the former bones, now enfleshed bodies, have breath and life and spirit.

Finally God directs Ezekiel to declare this vision to the people of Israel. The people of Israel believed – well, felt, experienced – the sensation of being dry bones. They were conquered people, some of them exiled, many of them living under a foreign power. They felt as if the life of their nation, the life of their faith, the life of their people had come to an end.

No, says God, the breath, the spirit, the ruach will return to you. You will live again.

In these days of pandemic, in these days of physical separation, we strive to bring some social connection – from six feet distance or more – with phone calls and notes and letters, with teleconferencing meetings and live streamed worship services (as we did yesterday at Church of the Holy Cross). We try to bring assurance to one and all that however lonely we are in this moment, none of us have been forgotten.

None of you ahve been forgotten.

And to you I bring the vision of Ezekiel and the dry bones. Oh, I don’t think we’re all dry bones ourselves, not yet, but we may come to feel in much that way. Ezekiel’s vision is an assurance that the bones will draw together again, that the flesh and sinew that are the relationships that tie us together, those will bring us together once more.

And there will be the breath, the wind, the ruach, the spirit of God to bring us once more into life.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on March 23, 2020

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