Can These Bones Live?



This week Pastor Rebecca shared from Ezekiel 37:1-14, most commonly known as the Valley of Dry Bones passage. As we walked with Ezekiel in conversation with God, we find the people of Israel in a state of crisis. Their captivity has led to the loss of hope, a loss of faith, and a loss of their way of life. In this conversation, we find a profound question asked of Ezekiel by God: "Son of man, can these bones live?"

This question can be heavy, like the weight when grief takes up dwelling in your chest. That feeling like you will never breathe again. Sometimes this question comes at a time where we understand ourselves as just another one of the bones lining the valley floor. Some days it feels like there is no hope, there is nothing left, like one has nothing left to give.

When in the valley of dry bones, it feels as this is a permanent state. Sometimes even the suggestion of hope is repulsive.

This is who I was the last time I heard this passage preached. As I heard the story, I felt pressure to respond yes to this question. But how? I had been in a very long, and very destructive relationship with someone who was very close to my family. I believed that there was no way for me to care for myself without hurting them. My job was in transition and many people took on more work than they could bear just to get through. We were just tired. I was overwhelmed by my weakness and the loss of life as I had expected it to be. Envisioning these dry bones coming to life was virtually impossible.

While I have several stories I'd love to share with you the story of God’s faithfulness to me, I would like to sit a moment with those of you who currently feel this way. I'd like to encourage you that there will be days where life feels like you are one of the dry bones, irrecoverably dead and lifeless.

Sometimes we are so eager to find a solution that we forget about the importance of journeying together toward new life. There are some things that we cannot fix ourselves. There are some questions that do not have any good answer. And friends, that's ok.

My prayer, in this situation, is not that you will feel pressured to be hopeful, because this act creates false selves which we show to each other. Instead, I hope that you would bring your brokenness to our worship together. I pray that on the days where you have nothing left to give God that you would simply be present. I pray that we as your church can worship on your behalf, that we will praise God with your need in mind. I pray that in being the very face of God for each other, that each of us would find life in a situation where our bones feel dead.


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Photos by Michelle Gould Photography,

Heather K. Barclay & Justin Leonard