The Valley of Dried Bones and FreshWind

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Sunday we looked at an amazing passage in Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones. The valley in this vision from Ezekiel is a place of death. It’s a boneyard, or a graveyard where all life has vanished. And God comes to Ezekiel and asks him “Can these bones live again”. And Ezekiel says he doesn’t know, that it is up to the Lord.

The beautiful thing about this passage is that it is up to God, and God shows what his desire is. His desire is to give life to lifeless things. His desire is to renew dry and death filled things. His desire is to resurrect out of a boneyard new life and new spirit.

So in the story a wind rushes and Ezekiel sees the bones comes together, and God’s spirit fills them. His breath, his life, his Spirit, his wind flows into the bones bringing a freshness and a newness. This was not an act that happens at the end of time, but an act in time. God brings healing and a fresh wind to people in real life dry and dark circumstances.

We ended looking at how God did that years ago with the Israelite people but that he wants to do that with us today too. Because God is in the business of brining life to dry bones. God is in the business of rejuvenating broken spirits. And the amazing thing about this decision of God is that it is unilateral. If you read in the passage God continually says “I will do this…I will do this…I will do this”. God acts because that’s God’s desire.

So on Sunday we left everyone with one simple challenge. If it’s God’s desire to fill us, to send forth his life, Spirit, wind, and breath – then simply breathe deeply. Breathe deeply asking God to fill all of you and trusting he will. I gave them this impossible challenge, to each time you breathe this week,  remember and picture God filling you. And yes the challenge might be impossible, but that’s the beautiful thing about God. Sometimes the impossible happens and life flows into dry bones.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: God wants to breath new life into you

Take Aways…

  • The life of faith is one of change
  • Dead souls do not produce the same stuff as living ones do. Michael Gungor
  • “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
  • You are in the valley of dry bones, when no hope seems possible and no change is on the horizon.
  • God will give new life to prove he is truly God.
  • God wants to breathe it into us
  • My soul cries out / My soul cries out for you / These bones cry out / These dry bones cry for you / To live and move / ‘Cause only You can raise the dead / Can lift my head up. Gungor, Dry Bones
  • Breathe Deeply
  • God is in the business of filling

Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it?

When have you ever felt to be in the valley of dry bones? What did it feel like? What made you feel that way? Was anything of a help in that time?

What were you picturing as we read the story? When we read the story what emotions filled you – hope, numbness, desire, intrigue, wonder, doubt? What brought on those feelings?

As you were breathing do you believe that God was filling? What helps you to believe that, and what is a block to believing that? How might God want to fill you even now with new breathe and life? What did you think of this quote: Dead souls do not produce the same stuff as living ones do. Michael Gungor. If God breathes into your soul making it alive what might he want to produce through you?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Take sometime to talk to your kids. Talk to them about what you love about them. Talk to them about their wonder, their awe, and why having a “wide-awake” soul is a beautiful thing. Ask them what they want to create, maybe read the story of Ezekiel and ask them to draw, or paint it. Talk to them about never losing their wonder, breathe, and life in their soul.

Challenge for this Week: Every time you breathe remember God

Dried Out Old Bones…

645124_49603802Have you ever felt dry?

I mean brittle, burnt out, scorched, barren, soul-dry?

Do you know what I’m talking about where you just feel so empty, and done?

Come Sunday we are going to be looking at one of the most important stories that first recognizes that followers of God can get dry. We can get brittle, we can get bleached, and broken. But more importantly, come Sunday we are going to look at how to find life again.

Sometimes the most difficult thing in the world when you are dry and feeling tossed aside is to find life. But I think that’s exactly what we need in the dry, barren, and desert times. We need new life. We need new spirit, we need even a rejuvenated soul.

The question is how do you find it? Well to give you a hint as to where we are going it doesn’t have a lot to do with us, but a lot with God.

So that’s what we are looking at come Sunday, because God wants to pour his life into us so that we have wide-awake souls. Michael Gungor writes this, Dead souls do not produce the same stuff as living ones do.

And he’s right. Our souls need to be alive if we are going to be able to change our lives, change our communities, and change our world.

So come Sunday we be finding out how to find life. But before we get there why not listen to this amazing song by Gungor that is all about our topic. It might even give you a hint what passage we’re looking at. I’ve included the lyrics below too. Listen and reflect and if you’re in a bit of a desert or dry place why not invite God into that place. Because he’s the only one who can bring life to a valley of dry bones.