Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

“Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them,
O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.”
– Ezekiel 37:4

Ezekiel stands, at least spiritually, in a valley of dry bones. They are the bones of his friends, the warriors of Judah, annihilated by the juggernaut of the armies of Babylon. The same armies took Ezekiel into exile and, by the rivers of Babylon, he sat down and wept (Psalm 137:1).

Things look bleak for Ezekiel. Even the Word of the Lord has been hard against Ezekiel’s people. They are not in exile by accident, sin drove them there – it always does. But sin doesn’t get the last word.

In the midst of this valley of death, the Lord speaks through His prophet, “Prophesy to these bones.” Because the words are God’s, they do something—they are performative.  The words change reality. “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know that I am the Lord.” God speaks life and we realize He is Lord.

Our experience is the same. We stand in the valley of bones and the Lord speaks to us. And His word makes true what He says. “Your sins are forgiven.” “This is my body.” “Peace be with you.” God speaks and His word performs what He says. Life comes into the valley—our valley.

Prayer: Thy strong word did cleave the darkness; at Thy speaking it was done. For created light we thank Thee, while Thine ordered seasons run. (Thy Strong Word, LSB 578:1)

This devotion was written by Rev. Daniel Pool – Pastor of St. John Lutheran in Clinton.

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