Prayer: Almighty and loving God, guide us in your Word and Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Breath of life
10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
These bones, these bones, these dry bones, now hear the Words of the Lord.! I always hear this song in my mind as I read today’s text. Societies usually treat dead bodies with respect, but without breath they cannot live. Only God can give the breath of life. Only God can resurrect us.
God speaks through the words of Ezekiel: “I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live” (v. 14). Our devotion writer explains; “God, who orchestrated our very first breath, has also promised to give us life after death. Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live’ (John 11:25). This promise is for you, for me, and for all who have died in Christ. God alone can give breath, and we can trust that our powerful God will make good on what has been promised—resurrection!”
14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live…
Prayer: “You are the resurrection and the life, O Christ. Enliven me today and always by your Spirit. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11 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.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 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.”