And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 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. (Ezekiel 37:13-14, NRSV)
Take a Moment to Ponder
DO NOT GIVE UP!
The world seems to be at a standstill now. Although activities have stopped there is so much happening. The COVID-19 pandemic, loss of jobs, lack of food, increased anxiety and stress of one’s mental health and the list goes on. Sometimes many of us feel as if there is no coming back to ‘normalcy’. Many have given up hope and are left to feel like the dry bones in the valley. We read the story of the valley of the dry bones and realize that it was used to symbolize Israel in exile with no hope for the future. It symbolizes the people of God as dead, lost and hopeless. The bones coming to life is a symbol of a new creation. There would be a return to full life, their exile which caused the loss of land and belonging and even identity would be restored, but in the same breath, the future hope that they so desired could only be achieved by radically depending on God. We too must trust the Almighty God to take control of all that is happening around us and to us. God never goes back on God’s word. It shows us that we serve a God that can do more than all we can ask or conceive; But we must also realize that we have a part to play. We must speak God’s words of love and peace to others who have not heard it, how will those around us have hope if we do not tell them about this amazing God that we serve. We can’t say to people God will provide when we provide nothing for them, we cannot say God loves you when our hearts are bitter and cold towards others.
New life will never come to the dry bones if we fail to speak life, love, peace, kindness over them. In a time when we may feel dry spiritually because of lack of the Holy Eucharist and fellowship with each other, we must hold on to our faith as we continue to work in the vineyard provided to us at the moment, our homes, our friends and our families. There is, with God friends, the possibility of life from the dead. Trust the Holy Spirit to work. TRUST God to keep God’s promises.
We must remain faithful, be faithful to what we have now, even if we feel as if nothing will happen or is happening. Those who are praying pray, those who are fasting, keep the fast, those who are sharing God’s word do so willingly. Let us trust the voice of God that bids us to speak to the dry bones, the dry bones of our personal lives, the dry bones of our family lives and our work lives, the dry bones of our society, the dry bones of our church.
May we this day, not give up hope. There is indeed hope because God never goes back on God’s word. Continue to pray for those who are on the frontline fighting the coronavirus, pray for those who will bury loved ones, pray for those who are dying. No matter the situations we face, no matter how dead we feel, God can do what seems impossible to us and restore us to wholeness. What we should do in the meantime as we look to the days to come is to trust the working of the Holy Spirit, listen to the voice of God, play our part in proclaiming the Gospel and remain faithful to God and God’s promises to us, DO NOT GIVE UP.
A Moment in Prayer
Lord, things around us may seem so dark and uncertain but you have promised to never leave us or forsake us. Give us the patience to wait on you, give us faith to believe in you, give us the strength to rely on you. Lord help us not to give up, help those who see no way out to call on your name, May your light shine on us and show us the way, may your Holy Spirit revive our dry bones, this we pray in the name of your son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever. Amen.
Contributed by: Rev Nina-Rae Barrett