Grace Episcopal Church



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Lent 5a 2014
9 April
Eze. 37:1-14; Ps. 130
Rom. 8:6-11; John 11:1-45
Jack Hardaway

                                    WISE BONES

You are going to die.
I am going to die.
We are all on our way out the door.

Some day the human species will be extinct.
Maybe our bones will be put on display in a museum, next to the Columbian Mammoth.  Perhaps a scripture quote will be put next to us, instead of a quote from Genesis about being created on the sixth day, maybe our fossil scripture should be from the Psalms, Psalm 90 verse 12.  “So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”

Bones.  Piles of unburied bones.
Excavating layer after layer of unhappy endings, of death.
Like the old Randy Travis song, “I’m digging up bones, resurrecting memories of a love that is dead and gone.”
So teach us to number our days.

A dead place, a dead people, a dead culture.
Can these bones live?
Can these dry bones live again?

Ezekiel, a prophet in exile, in Babylon.  The people Israel in exile, a people without a land, a pile of bones.  Will they live again? Is there a future?  Where is God?  How could this have happened?
Then…prophesy to the bones, prophesy to the breath, the bones came together, the flesh came together, the breath filled them with life.
This dead place is not the end, these dry bones are not the end, the ways of death are not the end, the spirit of God is breathing new life into a dead people.

Lazarus, dead, buried in the tomb.  Where was Jesus when he was needed?
Jesus was greatly disturbed by the death of his friend, he wept, he groaned, he was disturbed.
Then… “He is only sleeping, Lazarus come out, the dead man came out, unbind him and let him go.”

Lent, we look into the dead places, we find the bones that new life may be breathed into them.
Where are the dead places in our lives?  Where are the dead places in our community?  In our world?
Where are we clinging to the ways of death?  Will we let the resurrection enter into the here and now?   Will we trust God to bring life out of the forsaken and the forgotten?
Are we clinging to bones?  Or are we numbering our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom?
Like Ezekiel prophesy to the bones, prophesy to the breath.

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04-09-2014 Lent 5a 2014
03-30-2014 Lent 4a 2014
03-06-2014 Lent 2a 2014
03-09-2014 Lent 1a 2014
03-05-2014 Ash Wednesday 2014
02-23-2014 Epiphany 7a 2014
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01-26-2014 Epiphany 3a 2014(pdf)
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