CCDA invites you to consider what the hope of Advent can mean in the midst of a global pandemic, pervasive uncertainty, and agonizing loss. Drawing from Ezekiel 37, we explore life after the Breath of God revives the dry bones.
Together let us explore how the themes in Ezekiel prepare us for the advent of the Messiah. Join us in a communal reflection on the very real ways the birth and incarnation initiated a revival during a season of waiting and darkness.
What can this mean for our CCDA communities, our valleys of dry bones, our places of waiting and darkness? May we find hope in the Lord as we reflect, pray, and dream of possibilities of a revival through Him. We pray that the reflections and prayers within these Advent devotionals bring renewed inspiration, anticipation, and hope in the Kingdom of God that has come and is to come. Amen.
What a morbid scene Ezekiel enters into when we meet him in the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. He is a priest sent into exile, forced to reckon with the destruction of his community and life under an empire. God challenges Ezekiel to do the impossible: calling him not only to believe that what is dead can come to life, but to prophesy it into reality.
For many of us, Ezekiel’s reality is not too different from our own. Our communities are already plagued by injustice, forcing us to reckon with the destruction of life under empire. When you add the loss surrounding a global pandemic, we realize the dry bones Ezekiel saw are all around us. Yet, our faith in God, our life callings, and our commitment to our communities drive us to hear God say, “Can these dry bones live?”. He compels us to “prophesy” to the bones in the midst of grief and despair- and we have prayed fervently with unexplainable faith that God would move, revive, heal, be present, and bring life in dead places.
In verse 6, after Ezekiel prophesies, the Lord says to the bones,
“Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
God beautifully responds to Ezekiel’s prophecy by doing what He did in the story of creation – He breathes life into the dry bones. He lays flesh onto them. He responds to the faith of Ezekiel, does the impossible, and brings life from death.
By the first century A.D., evil, injustice, and death had plagued Israel. The prophecies of the past reminded Israel of the promise of a Savior that was to come. Then, Jesus came. Our magnificent God beautifully enters our broken world as a baby and takes on human flesh. The breath of God enters the world. Israel did not yet realize it, but the baby in their midst was going to bring life in unimaginable ways to their community, and ultimately, to the world.
This Advent, let us remember the God of the Universe who would so graciously meet us in the depths of our valleys of dry bones; He gives us courage to prophesy to death around us when it doesn’t make sense or look promising. Let us listen for God’s voice, embody Christ & let Him breathe new life into us so we can continue the good work of incarnation in our communities. Finally, let us see and pray for the possibilities of renewed life in our communities so that God’s Kingdom may draw near. Amen.
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