Week 30: Can These Bones Live?

Week 30 Can These Bones Live?

Today’s Text: Ezekiel 37-42

Key Text: 37:1

“The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’”

This paragraph from the beginning of the 37th chapter of Ezekiel is one of my favorite passages of Scripture.

It is fraught with possibility.

The question “Son of man, can these bones live?” is so dramatic, so powerful, and it aches to be answered.

Wisely, Ezekiel does not attempt to answer. He merely says, “Lord, you alone know.”

So God answers his own question.

Yes, the bones will live – the people will live again – by God’s own awesome power and grace.

There is such hope in this dramatic account of the “Valley of Dry Bones.”

It speaks to me of how hopeless situations are anything but hopeless to God.

It calls me to consider how spiritual dryness and death can be turned around and become something alive and vital.

It invites me to cling to the hope, in faith, that truly with God “all things are possible.”

How about you?

What does the image of a valley of dry bones springing to life evoke in your imagination and life?

I hope it is a strong, sure affirmation that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – that God the Father – that God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, above all, is the God of life and hope and re-birth and resurrection.

For in that realization – in that expectant hope – is eternal life itself.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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