Last Sunday we gathered around the table — all 15 of us (me included) — and after some gathering conversation we began in prayer before opening with our check in, sharing about some of the victories God has already brought us through and sharing some of the current struggles we are waiting to be victorious through/over. While not everyone was super eager to share, and I did (as is custom!) shift us to considering scripture at the appropriate time — there were two things I observed.
First, and I did mention this on Sunday — was how encouraging it can be for us to remember what God has already done for us. Often we can be hard on ourselves, we can focus on the struggles before us in the moment, and we can easily forget how much God has already done for us — remembering can give some perspective and can encourage us.
And second, the willingness to be able to share a struggle, to be the first voice willing to engage vulnerability publically opens the way for others to be able to share too — and in that sharing there was this beautiful time and ability to encourage, to have people willing to pray specifically, and to have those who might be accountability partners in that struggle for victory! This is some of the beauty of the body of Christ, of being able to live and walk alongside our sisters & brothers on the journey we know as life — and in which none (no not one) of us is done/perfect (just) yet!
But on to scripture, Ezekiel 37:1-14. This text is known as “The Valley of Dry Bones” and it is an alternative text to be used and preached on for Pentecost Sunday (which was last Sunday!). We heard these verses read, and sat in silence, seeking to hear God speaking to us all. There was some talk about context, talk about prophets speaking up, noticing that God is able to do anything. We considered a seeming duality of body/spirit when with bones and flesh Ezekiel still had to speak life to breath to come into the bodies that had just come together. And we even discussed how in a sense it seemed the death was brought on by decisions that had been made (opposing God) and continuous faithfulness of God too.
And, we wondered if God reached out and grabbed us & showed us a vision like this — an impossible vision of death (like for real, totally dead!) — and told us to speak life (again and again speak (prophesy) life) would we do it? Which leads a bit to our homework…we are all to spend the week praying LIFE, praying LIFE over relationships, people, gardens, communities, our church — EVERYTHING. This is a week to pray LIFE & to see what happens. If you’ve forgotten — go ahead and start now — let us together pray LIFE and see what God does!
Excited to hear the stories…
Rev. Sabrina Slater