Saturday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV)
1 The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”‘”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”‘” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.'”
As was said yesterday, the texts from this week all point us the End of Days, when we will enjoy our eternal reward in our home in Heaven. Today, we hear from the Prophet Ezekiel, who reveals to us how our Lord God can raise our bodies from death into life.
It is one of the things we confess we believe in the words of Creed: “And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” There will certainly be a resurrection of the dead on the Last Day. Those who have fallen asleep in the Lord will have their bodies restored on the Last Day; they will receive a glorified body.
However, there are also spiritual aspects to this reading. For, spiritually speaking, those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ are dead. We were dead in our sins and trespasses until we were raised again through the water and the Word. Indeed, our sinful bones were very dry.
But our Lord God raised us out of death into life through the waters of Holy Baptism for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ, and made us into the army of the Church. In this Church we daily remember the gift of Holy Baptism through daily contrition and repentance, and are daily making the dry bones of our Old Adam into the New Creation guided by God’s Holy Ghost. Our Lord will carry our new bodies into eternal life.
We pray: Almighty God, we beseech Thee, show Thy mercy unto Thy humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Thy judgment, but according to Thy mercy; through Christ, our Lord. Amen.