Ezekiel is one of my favorite prophets. I think the reason that I like him so much is that he is given a really lousy task and then tackles it with gusto. God gave Ezekiel the task of carrying a message to His people that is difficult and unpopular. God even warns Ezekiel that he is carrying his message to a people he calls rebellious, impudent, stubborn children. He lives this task through the book that carries his name. But, just when it seems that it seems the story is over God offers Ezekiel a vision of hope.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 is the well known vision of the valley of dry bones. My first childhood image related to this passage was the Saturday morning School House Rock “Them not so dry bones” animated story of the skeleton. It begins with a barbershop quartet singing “Them bones, them bones, them dry bones, Now they're the working of the Lord.” I know that many of you join with me in this childhood flashback. It sets the context for the prophet’s grand vision of the resurrection of the dead. God tells him that the vision is the picture of the restoration of the people of Israel. It is a hopeful picture for me because it reminds me of God’s redemptive nature. It offers me, and you, the promise that God is in the life business and is calling us to a future of new life, new hope, new ministry.