Sunday, April 6, 2014

     

Dem Bones                                

 

Ezekiel 37:1-14                    
 

"Dry bones sittin' in a canyon, some of dem bones are mine... dry bones sittin' in a canyon, some of dem bones are mine."

 

This cheerful and upbeat song is sung proudly at Girl Scout Camp River Ranch, and I remember merrily clapping and singing along as we made light of the death imagery we proclaimed. But I was a child then, and I didn't know anything about dry bones. It's a play, a joke: that our very lively bodies could be still, much less extinguished.

 

As we grow older, we experience betrayal and loss and loneliness. These little deaths take us into the canyon, and we can look around and see our friends, family, and former companions as the imagined dry bones. The death and the resurrection are the story of our faith, that beyond that point of hopelessness God brings new life to us. This is the Awful Friday/Easter Sunday story, the cross and the empty tomb. But I prefer Ezekiel's version - that death doesn't always look like public suffering, and I never managed to be too Christlike anyway. I can't say that my own struggles were completely unearned. But I've known the valley of dry bones. I've also known that invitation in the breath to return to life: the prophet speaking to my connective tissue and into my lungs, propelling me out of the place of death and into the joy of life once more. This invitation calls to all of us this Lent: Are we going to stay in the valley of dry bones, or shall we hear the call to live together once more? Do all bodies indeed rise? Will yours?

 

Dry bones, sittin' in the canyon, some of dem bones are yours... dry bones sittin' in the canyon, some of dem bones are mine. 
        

Katherine Buck   

SFTS M.Div. 2013