New Year – New Bones
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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. (Ezekiel 37:1-5) NIV
As we embark on a New Year….. I have to ask myself…..what will be new? How will I change or what will I change? So that I can be happy and prosperous. I think that is what all of us want isn’t it? As I look forward to the New Year, I also look back on what God has done this past year. And if I am to be honest….. it didn’t turn out as I had hoped or expected. How about you?
For our new church, there has been a lot of obstacles this past year….. the age of our congregation…the lack of volunteers…. The constant struggle with finances…. Constant repairs for aging buildings…. And the lack of visitors or new members…. It seems as if we are just dying. And this fear and doubt becomes a yoke for a lot of us… that becomes too heavy to carry. And people ask about our future…. where is our hope? When will new life and change occur?
In this new year of “Re-Launching” our church and our ministries out into the community…..letting them know who we are….. I share with you the hope we have from Ezekiel… God asks will these bones live?…. that’s how I see our current church….. dry bones…. And we ask God…. Will they live? I can imagine God’s reply….. where is your faith? For if you are with me, doing my work, will you not prosper?
So Ezekiel does as God commands….just as we need to do what God commands…. And tell the dry bones to LIVE! Believe with your soul…. these dry bones will live! Tell the dry bones to get busy doing the Lord’s work; get busy offering and inviting others into our body; get busy connecting and building relationships with the community; get busy bringing those who thirst to the altar that gives everlasting life.
It’s a New Year….and my hope is for New Bones! Dry Bones that come to life….bones that become God’s army….bones that go forth and change our community and our world. This week….take time and with God’s authority….tell the dry bones to come alive!