Daily Worship

The Word of Life Brings Dead Bones to Life

Norah Summers May 04, 2017 0 1

Ezekiel 37: 1-14

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. 2 He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”

I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!”

4 He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. 5 Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. 6 I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

7 So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. 8 While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies.

9 God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the Sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”

10 So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.

11 God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. 12 So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel. 13 When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this—and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

No words.

No life.


Just death and desolation.

Bones everywhere.


Dead dry bones.


And silence.

An awful dead dry silence.


And the Lord speaks,

and tells Ezekiel to speak –


voices are heard,

breath is exhaled,

sounds carry –

and the breath enters the lifeless skeletons

and they stand up.


Can breath do this?


Can the breath of God revive a dry and hopeless people?


Loving God,

we pray for your world

and for your church.


We see death,


dry bones 

of old ways and worn-out traditions,

of “it’s aye been”,

and resistance to change.


We see advances in science and medicine,

in engineering and technology,

we wrestle with the questions they raise about our humanity 

and our relationship with you.


For we are individual,


made in your image, 

and yet in extraordinary diversity.


And you speak your Word of Life to each one of us,

each individual,

each unique collection of bones and muscles and organs,


just as once in a deserted garden,

where all seemed dead and dry,


Jesus said to her, “Mary”.