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. Read the first two devotionals here.
“And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it…”
In Ezekiel 37:13, God shows us an incredible example of resurrection from death. He enters the valley of dry bones, opens up the graves, raises the dead, and breathes His Spirit into them. Resurrection stirs up lots of emotions – wonder, hope, even fear. But overriding all of those emotions is a deep and incredulous love.
What God would take pain so raw as grief, despair, and death, and counter it with love-soaked resurrection? What greater comfort and joy can be given to us worldly beings than seeing what was lost become renewed once more through the breath of the Lord?
In 1 Samuel 18, God shows us an example of love and resurrection. David formed an immediate bond with Saul’s son, Jonathan. The Bible tells us he loved him as he loved himself, so much so that he pledged that love by taking off his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt, and giving them to David. Jonathan willingly and gladly gave away his most prized possessions and markers of his status and identity. He became naked in a sense, giving in abundance out of love for his friend. After Jonathan’s death, Saul was left without an heir, but God found new life in David as the one who would carry on his line. The tools Jonathan gave lovingly to David were not just tokens, but what he would eventually need to become a King, something much greater than he was before.
In the same way, Jesus gave his disciples tools before his sacrificial death. He loved them so much that he gave to them in abundance, giving his wisdom, his parables, and his own life so that they might be filled with the breath of the Spirit. He was left naked on the cross, taking all of our shame, all of our sins, and washing it away with His blood.
As his followers were mourning, God gave us the ultimate act of love – he raised his son from the dead, removed the stone from the tomb, and renewed what had been dead the day before. What love this shows! What a gift to us that our final memory of Jesus on earth is not the death he took upon the cross, but the life that can be found again in our faith in Jesus.
Jesus’ loving sacrifice did not only promise salvation to future believers but also redeemed the sins of the first of us. He redeemed everything, back to the first sins of Adam, the first one to hide from God out of shame. Jesus came to redeem us, but he resurrected us in the process. We are made new in his love from nothing more than bones.
As CCDA practitioners, we can look around our communities and see the sacrifices we have made that do not look resurrectable. This Advent, let’s lean on the God who would take pain so raw and so personal, and counter it with love-soaked resurrection. Surely he is willing and able to bring life where we cannot see it. We can give up our lives to the work of transformation for the Kingdom of God, and trust that our God and our love will foster a beautiful resurrection.
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