“Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.”” vs. 11
Even though the land of Judah had been devastated by the Babylonian invaders and the ruling families had been carried off to live in the land of exile, the prophet had not lost hope. He looked for revival, for a restoration of the dream, and hope for the future. One day the Spirit of God would blow through the valley of bones and new life would be breathed into the people of God. It’s a powerful image, one that can be reclaimed whenever it seems our congregations and communities of faith have fallen into decline. Sometimes, as people age and the glory years become a memory, we can begin to wonder if there’s a future for the Church, if the changing fancies of the younger generation even have room for the old, old story that has survived through two millennia. It is in these moments that we can find hope in Ezekiel’s image. The gospel of grace isn’t a product of our own making and therefore subject to annihilation by the forces of the culture and the reality of our mortality. The good news of love comes straight from the mouth of God and is for all generations. Over and over again the four winds are summoned and the breath of the Spirit revives the people of the promise. Forms and structures may change but the good news is forever.
Thought for the Day: What gives me hope for the Church?