Whit’s End: Words of Life

One_book_-_valley

This morning, our text came from Ezekiel 37.1???14, “The Valley of Dry Bones.”  The prophet Ezekiel was told by God to speak to a valley of dried bones representing the people of Israel.  God’s people had come into a time of great despair, being conquered and led a way from their homeland, a place that gave them their identity and direction in life.  Now, away from what they know and struggling to find hope, God has raised up Ezekiel to renew their hope and to tell them of the life to come from God’s Spirit, the breath that will bring life to the dry bones of the people.

The despair they were experiencing, though, was result of God’s people’s disobedience to God’s intentions for them.  God set up the people for success, if they would only choose life over the death that comes from finding themselves anywhere but grounded in God (see Deuteronomy 30.19).  As in the Garden, there were two places to receive food???a tree that led to life and a tree that led to death.

It reminds of Jesus, who when taken by the Spirit out into the desert to be tried by the Tempter.  The first thing out of the Tempter’s mouth was for Jesus to feed himself by turning stones into bread.  But Jesus knew that feeding himself was not enough, for he replied, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4.4). Jesus knew that the real “words of life” came from God, the only one who can sustain us through his creating and loving words to us.

God did bring life to the bones in the valley from our scripture text, breathing into them the life that renews all things.  Their hope was restored and their God saved them.  We have this hope, too, a hope of life and restoration through Jesus Christ.

We must choose life today, understanding that if we are to be freed from the captivity of this world, then we must change our diet, and begin feeding off the grace that comes from the mouth of God???the Word, Jesus Christ.

We sang “Wonderful Words of Life” this morning, and I’ve included the lyrics below.  Have a BLESSED week!

1.
Sing them over again to me, 

wonderful words of life; 

let me more of their beauty see, 

wonderful words of life; 

words of life and beauty 

teach me faith and duty. 

Refrain: 

Beautiful words, wonderful words, 

wonderful words of life. 

Beautiful words, wonderful words, 

wonderful words of life. 

2.
Christ, the blessed one, gives to all 

wonderful words of life; 

sinner, list to the loving call,

wonderful words of life; 

all so freely given, 

wooing us to heaven. 

(Refrain) 

3.
Sweetly echo the gospel call, 

wonderful words of life; 

offer pardon and peace to all, 

wonderful words of life; 

Jesus, onl
y Savior, 

sanctify forever. 

(Refrain) 

Rev. Whit R. Martin
Pastor, New Liberty United Methodist Church

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