The Lenten season and the celebration of Easter happens to coincide very nicely with spring when everything that has either died or is dormant comes to life again. It is as if nature itself is embracing the power of the “resurrection” by displaying the “new life” that is now possible. Isaiah once wrote about this…
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom. (Isaiah 35:1-2)
Essentially, Easter is about the “possibility of new life” …things that are ‘dead’, ‘dormant’, ‘parched’, or just ‘dried out’, are brought back to life, to once again blossom, through the merciful and loving power of God!
Another powerful image of the Resurrection pops into my head as I write this…It’s from Ezekiel;
[God] 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. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones:
I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:2-7, 11-14)
My goodness! Doesn’t Ezekiel sound strangely current and relevant for our time? After 2 years of the pandemic which has kept us isolated from family members, friends, co-workers and regular routines of life, I think many of us can echo the cry of the people –
“Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’
I ‘see’ a lot of ‘dried up bones’ all around me. We are weary…smiles are fading beneath the masks we don to protect one another!
But, on Easter, we are caused to remember that NOT all “hope is gone – we are cut-off”. God can, did, and still does, breath new life into dried up bones! This is what Easter celebration is all about – things that are seemingly ‘dried out’ and ‘dead’, situations that seem ‘hopeless’ and ‘futile’, can breathe, and live again!
On this Easter, may God breath new life into our dried bones, and settle us in our land, once again!
Would you pray with me?
God of the Crocuses,
We feel like the crocuses buried deep beneath the frozen earth.
Beneath the masks we have donned,
We have struggled to breath freely,
And struggled even more to share encouraging words
and smiles with one another.
O God, we long for the breath of your Spirit,
so that we may blossom once again.
God of the dried bones,
Restore to us your hope,
Remind us of your unfailing love,
And re-attach the severed tendons of our relationships,
So that we may live again,
And be connected again with you,
With one another,
And with the World you created.
God, who raised Jesus from the Dead,
Raise us with Him once again,
So that we may be clothed into His likeness,
Empowered to offer grace in the face of sin,
Mercy in the face of betrayal,
And love in the face of hate.
God of the Resurrection,
Conquer the power and the sting of death crouching at our door,
And cause us to live as your new creation,
Filled with the breath of your Spirit.
We pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Click HERE to view a video recording of this blog posting featuring Rev. Lee.
Kevin serves a “tiny little church” in midtown Toronto, Canada, called, Wychwood-Davenport Presbyterian Church – a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.