Dem Connected Bones
Ezekiel connected dem dry bones Ezekiel connected dem dry bones Now I hear the word of the Lord
Well, your toe bone connected to your foot bone Your foot bone connected to your heel bone Your heel bone connected to your ankle bone Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone Your leg bone connected to your knee bone Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone Your hip bone connected to your back bone Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone Your neck bone connected to your head bone I hear the word of the Lord!
A dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around A dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around A dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk around
This week we are blessed with the wonderful passage from Ezekiel 37: 1-14 often referred to as the “Valley of the Dry Bones.” The above lyrics are to the old song I remember from childhood, a spiritual of the African American tradition, sung by folks in slavery and their descendants who, long after ceasing to be literal slaves were enslaved by Jim Crow laws of the south and Klan terrorism, among many other things. I have been thinking a lot this week about the liberation offered by God in His vision to Ezekiel, even as the Israelites continued to live in bondage in Babylon.
We take for granted the connections of our body, how the tendons, ligaments, flesh and bone all tie together in this seemingly simple miracle of God. Yet, our bodies are tremendously intricate and amazing, fleshy machines that are truly wonders of God. Ezekiel is not talking, really, about bodies coming back together but how the community of Israel, spiritually dead, disconnected from themselves, their land, and their history (much like black Africans brought against their will to this continent for centuries as slaves) would come back to God. Do we recognize the sovereignty and blessedness of God? Have we become disconnected, in our modern world and lives, from ourselves and each other? Maybe one blessing of this terrible coronavirus epidemic might be that we may begin to see how much we need each other? How much we miss gathering as community; touching each other at the peace, offering Peace to one another? How much our freedom and God’s good earth mean to us? My earnest hope is that, like the people of Israel, we will move through this time of isolation, which will come to an end, more willing to open ourselves to the healing and hopeful breath of God that offers to breathe life into us. We can never fall so far, or become so lifeless, that God cannot restore us, as He promised, through Jesus Christ our Lord.