Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

The Valley of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel is one of the eeriest stories in the Bible.  (Ezekiel 37:1-14).  When I hear this story, I think of the Badlands in South Dakota—a strange, dry, sandy place with odd and interesting rock formations.  It is like nowhere on earth.  I imagine God setting Ezekiel down in one of these valleys and it being filled with very dry bones.  These bones are like humans who have no hope.  He talks to the bones even though the bones cannot respond.

But then God steps in and speaks to Ezekiel, asking him to prophesy to the bones.  I imagine Ezekiel thinking, “Really, God?  What good is this going to do?”  But he does not speak that out loud.

God can think so much bigger than we ever could and has something planned for Ezekiel – a miracle where the bones are no longer just dry bones.  Sinews and flesh and skin are added and then God breaths the breath of life into them.  It is very much like God shaping the first human from the dust of the earth in Genesis 2 and breathing life into the person.  God does not leave us in a place of despair and hopelessness.  God laments with us in hard times.  But God also provides the hope – hope through the reanimation of these bones.  Hope with the light shining in the darkness.  Hope in our own lives.  Where do you see God’s hope today?

God of breath, You promised new life to your people in exile by breathing into a valley full of dry bones. Breathe new life into us, so that we might live passionately for you. Amen.