Dem Dry Bones

Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus, says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.’  (Ez. 37:4-5)

During a couple of summers in high school, I worked as a lifeguard. One year after the regular season had ended, the club gave a Saturday to an inner-city church in Baltimore. When we lifeguards showed up early to get the pool ready, the parking lot was already packed with buses from an AME Zion church.

Not long after we opened the pool, it was apparent that many of these kids didn’t know how to swim. We had to close the diving boards and the deep end, and we had to remain hyper-vigilant in the part of the pool that remained open.

Not only did we work harder that day than we had all summer, but we were also never treated with so much kindness. When the church community gathered for worship, they invited us to join them. I can still remember them singing the spiritual “Dem Dry Bones.”

When they moved to lunch, they shared their feast. Although I belonged to many churches, I’d never witnessed a community having so much joy. Whenever I read today’s lesson of Ezekiel looking at the Valley of Dry Bones, I remember that day with the AME Zion church.

There are times when our lives can resemble that Valley of Dry Bones. Things seem bleak and barren. It feels like there’s no hope, no future.

In today’s scripture, we hear how God gave a vision of hope to Ezekiel—that the dry bones of their exiled and crushed nation could come back together, bone by bone, sinew by sinew. That AME Zion church, along with so many other communities, had received deep and lasting hope when they sang “Dem Dry Bones.”

Reflection Questions:

  1. When have you felt like your life was nothing but a valley of dry bones?
  1. When you were in your dry bones place, how did you carry on? Where and how did you receive hope?
  1. During Ezekiel’s vision, hope came when God’s breath entered those dry bones. When have you felt God’s breath coming to you, helping you to breathe and find new life and hope? How might you need God’s breath now?

Today, I invite you to view and hear a lyric video of the song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Lauren Daigle. I hope you see these words and hear this music as God’s promise to you. Be encouraged that with God’s breath moving through you, He can raise up your soul and heart when your life can look and feel like a valley of dry bones.

Please click here:  “Come Alive” by Lauren Daigle


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