“Then God said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live…'” (Ezekiel 37:4-5)
This weekend, our youth will lead us in worship to share about their experiences from Montreat Youth Conference and Youth Group this past year. We can all look forward to a service full of energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. Our younglings adore leading worship and having the chance to make their voices truly heard. So get excited, ’cause this is gonna be good.
Among the passages we studied at Montreat this summer was this one from Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones. It is a somewhat famous passage when God tells the prophet in a vision that the dead – the really, really dead – will live again. The bones are the people of God. And the good news of this prophecy is that nothing and no one is beyond new life.
The younglings studied this passage on the very first day of the conference, when we were considering God’s voice. Specifically, this passage teaches us clearly about God’s sovereignty – God’s ability to do all things. We considered that God’s voice is always speaking new life into the dry places, the barren places, the forgotten places in this world. This includes within us and among us and beyond us.
Though there are times when we may be tired, weak, and worn, God’s presence in our midst means that there are always new things happening. There is nothing beyond God’s ability and no one beyond God’s reach. We do believe that God will never force us, but the life force is there waiting and working so that when we are ready, God’s promises will already be fulfilled.
This is good news. Many times in our life we feel like we walk through the darkest valley, one filled with the really, really dead, dry bones. We feel as though we have nothing left. Sometimes we are right and we are understandably beyond our ability to keep going. First, remember that God does call us to rest and take care of ourselves. Secondly, remember that the strength you need to face the challenges ahead is already there within you in that place where God resides. It may not be easy, but you and I can do this. Thanks to the promises of God, the dry bones will live and we will find the new beginnings we seek. May it be so with us and with the world.
And we’ll see you on Sunday!