The Ezekiel dry bones story continues today. God has commanded his prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. To tell them to hear the word of the Lord. To tell them to come alive again. And they did!
But notice that while the bodies were being assembled, they were not yet fully alive, in spite of having tendons and flesh and skin. What else was needed?
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 tendons 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.
When God made human beings in the story of creation in Genesis, God began with the dust of the earth. Imagine a mud-man, gathered up from the substance of the ground. But dust is not alive, is it? And on their own, neither are bones and flesh and skin. What else is needed?
Genesis says, “And God breathed into them the breath of life.” When you read about the breath of God, think Holy Spirit! There is no life without the Spirit. And so God not only assembles these bodies, but gives them new life by the power of the Spirit.
Pray that the breath of God would breathe on you again.
Creating God, we look with awe and wonder at this world you have made. Help us to remember that creation belongs to you, and that every creature is beloved by you. Give us discernment to tell the difference between what has the form of life, and what is truly alive by your Spirit. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.