April 5, 2011

April 5: Think more deeply

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By Isaac Yoder-Shrock, a third year physics major from Moundridge, Kan.
SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
One of my classes this semester is structured as a discussion and research class that is situated at an academic crossroads between the fields of science and religion. In the class discussions, we probe questions of human existence, validity of philosophical arguments and challenge each other to think ‘more deeply’ on abstract topics and theories.

The deep thinking has offered a challenge to my faith through this season of Lent. Hundreds of questions regarding my faith and existence bounce around in my mind, while emotions of praise and fear run through my heart. Interestingly though, as my mind is challenged to understand abstract concepts beyond my reality, my heart and soul yearn as they wait for spiritual refreshment in this season of Lent.

In Ezekiel’s vision, he prophesied to the dry bones as God commanded and the bones were given new hope, new life and became a vast multitude. In the commonly accepted metaphor, the bones represent downcast spirits that are cut off, or exist under the power of death. Think and listen deeply. Where are the dry bones of your life? Where is God restoring lost faith? Where is the Creator breathing new hope and life? Wait patiently for the breath of God.

PRAYER:
We pray for your guidance, Divine Creator. Mortals and sinners we are, waiting for You. We yearn for your Spirit and a firm rooting. Breathe onto our dry bones, and restore our faith. Plant us in the soil where we belong. Amen.

SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)
1 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then 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: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

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Comments (9)

  1. I really liked your biblical choice Isaac and your discription of your discussion and research class “between the fields of science and religion”, Far beyond the traditional uses of the words for the Divine, into the new story of the universe and the multiverses there lies a field, I’ll meet you in that field. We need new life for the great work rising from those dry bones. far beyond the doing of right and doing of wrong (paraphrase of 13th century sufi Rumi.)

    John Hackman April 5, 2011 |
  2. Thank you Isaac. As soon as I read your paragraph about deep thinking a verse came to me. At the end of the Love chapter of I Corinthians 13 verse 12 says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” We await that day!!

    Betty April 5, 2011 |
  3. Isaac, thanks for sharing this message through your experiences and wisdom gained as well as your study.

    Annabelle & Bob April 5, 2011 |
  4. Thanks Isaac, for sharing your thoughts. I am challenged as I begin the day with devotions from G.C. Sudents and Staff.

    Mary K. April 5, 2011 |
  5. Very meaningful reflections. Thank you.

    John J. Smith April 5, 2011 |
  6. Thanks, Isaac.
    What you say is so true. I imagine that God loves questions as they keep us looking toward the Divine for truth and ultimately for a more intimate knowing.

    Patricia Zwier April 5, 2011 |
  7. Thank you Issac, what an inspiration. I am encouraged, how dry are my bones? A provoking thought!

    Liz Lehman April 5, 2011 |
  8. Beautifully put, Isaac, thank you for sharing this.

    Judy April 5, 2011 |