This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Lent reflection: Can these dry bones live?

Reflections on Ezekiel 37:1-14.

Observing and experiencing life our spirits often repeat the prophetic question, “Can these dry bones live?”

We are the Body of Christ, the chosen people of God. Yet in the midst of living through burdens, challenges, illnesses and unexpected chaos we sometimes lose our faith focus. We ask ourselves and one another, “Can these dry bones live again?”

The frame of our faith experience is bones. These faith-bones carry our collective experience in the form of congregation, conference, paraministry and small groups. These bony formations become dry when we get disturbed or distracted from our gifted purpose.

Sometimes distractions are budget shortfalls, leadership change, volunteer fatigue or disinterested membership. Initially each of us is all-in and committed to sharing joy and labor in community. However we all get disturbed at different times and in different ways.

Chaos and violence in society, unmet personal needs, shattered hope. We awaken to children with addictions, disabilities, anxieties and the list goes on. We experience brokenheartedness, financial setbacks, deaths of loved ones, infertility or other unpleasant and unplanned incidents. We withdraw from one another or we lean too heavily. We speak too loud, say too much or allow silence to linger too long.

The hymns bring us little joy. Our praise diminishes. Our prayers drain us. We look at ourselves and one another and we ask with doubting hope, “Can these dry bones live?”

If we discipline ourselves to turn to God and to trust again in the power of the living Christ, we will feel the winds fill us like the breath of God breathed on us at creation. We will feel the breath of God’s Spirit coming into us as did those who believed in the upper room.

We will feel ourselves coming alive as God resuscitates us. These bones live again, not because of us; perhaps in spite of us, these bones live. Refreshed by the breath of God blowing over and through us we see ourselves and one another anew and alive.

We rejoice in praise and find the rhythm to engage in ministry, fellowship and missions. We reach out to others as we receive the energizing breath of God, Savior and Holy Spirit. Our eyes no longer see death and despair but we see in faith that we can and do live as we faithfully walk in the new life given by Christ.

Breathe on me, God. Breathe on me Christ and help our unbelief. Breathe on me Holy Spirit and remind us we are never alone. Breathe on us and reconnect us to our gifted purpose in holy fellowship. We are not a bone. We are bones and together the Body of Christ. Resuscitate us that we may reconnect and reach out to others with your love.

Kelly Bates Oglesby resides with her husband in Indianapolis. Presently she’s discerning ministry/pastoral opportunities while providing supply preaching and teaching service as called.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!