Breaking Open the Scriptures
Scriptures for April 10th – Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45: Theme: Jesus can do anything! Song: What Wondrous Love is This? UMH 292
Ezekiel: Death is the subject for this week. Our death; not the death of our bodies, but the death of our souls. Without Jesus we are all dead and in need of resurrection. God shows Ezekiel a field of bones; Bones of people who may have died in battle. God explains that He does not need us to praise God, because he can rise up these bones and make them praise God. This should be a message of hope for us. Whatever the suffering, whatever the pain, whatever the burden that we are carrying, God can heal our soul and restore us to full life. We just have to let the spirit into our lives.
John: This is another one of those long gospel lessons for the season of lent. Once again the theme is our death and resurrection. Jesus finally comes to visit the house of his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. But they think that he has come too late to save the life of Lazarus. Not only is he dead, he stinks as his body decomposing. What could Jesus possibly do now. Jesus is not worried about the preconceived notions of the people, Jesus is not worried that we have gotten to the point that all hope is lost. Jesus can do anything at anytime. We are never so far gone that Jesus cannot save us. Jesus calls Lazarus to come forth, Jesus calls us to come forth; To come out of our tomb of sorrows and distress and to live. How do you answer?
Questions: Name some places in your life or your community that remind you of the valley of dry bones? Have you witnessed a resurrection of a place that was once dead? What did it take to revive the situation or to give it new life? How was God at work? What will it take to revive our United Methodist churches? What areas of your life have you lost all hope that things will change? How can you give those areas over to God and trust the Holy Spirit? What type of life do you think that John lived after he was brought back to life?