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April 14, 2009

Resurrection Hope in the Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel Speaks to the Dry Bone

The hand of the Lord was upon me and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley, it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

I said, "O, Sovereign Lord, you alone know." (Ezekiel 37:1-3)

I had an email yesterday morning from one of the Rwandans I interviewed in my book, As We Forgive. As you may or may not know, this is an especially hard time in Rwanda, as this April marks the 15th anniversary of the genocide. My friend was particularly asking for prayer amidst this season of remembrance, and shared with me that they've just unearthed some more bones and will be able to finally bury his fiancée's father.

In Rwanda, so many bodies were dumped into mass graves. When I read a passage like Ezekiel 37, I can't help but think of these piles of bones bleached by the African sun in open graves. Here's the thing that gets me: The hope of the resurrection amidst a picture like this. 

You know, I've never lost scores of family members. I don't know what it is to face life without any family to fall back on, without the friends you grew up with. But I know this: for these dear friends, who are missing their loved ones, the hope of the resurrection is a mighty, earth-rattling hope. It's a hope that looks something like this:

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them. . . . and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet--a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:7,8 and10)

I pray this picture will breathe hope into you today. A day is coming!

By the way, The Point's own Jeff Clinton has a review and some thoughts up today on his blog, Dawn Treader, about As We Forgive. Thanks for the kind words, Jeff, and for plugging a few of the great organizations actively at work in bringing reconciliation to Rwanda. I pray that people would join us in praying over these next 100 days for Rwandans and considering ways they can help bring reconciliation.

(Image courtesy of Firescribe.com)

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