Crossroads: The Intersection of Faith and Community

Posted by Rev. Daniel Christian on


Do you believe in miracles? Not in the sentimental made-for-TV movie that airs during Christmas time, but in a real miracle? Something extraordinary that cannot be explained away by reason, evidence or facts?

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

On Sunday I spoke from the pulpit about miracles from the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel. The Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel looks out over an entire valley that is filled with dry bones that were not properly buried.

Withered bones are a timely metaphor for us to ponder today. Many individuals and institutions in America lament over the robust decades of the past and now fear that the present and the future is nothing more than clinging to dry and lifeless bones. The campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” certainly spoke to those feelings and fears.

The dry bones in our life can be experienced in a whole host of ways. Changes in our health, employment, moving from house to apartment, from children to an empty-nest, from couple-hood to single-hood or married to divorced or widowed, any of these and many more have the power to usher in the deep ache and fear of our lives withering into dry and lifeless bones.

The passage about dry bones from the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel is mythic. And by mythic we modern people come to understand myth as “Less than real.” This is myth in the “More tham real” sense of myth. Myth that reveals real human pain, anguish and desolation and how God is an active agent in creating life where life has never been possible!

When we are mentally, emotionally, spiritually dry, lifeless and even dead inside, the good news is we have no place to go but up! I am not being glib. I am serious. When we give up hoping on ourselves, now God has something to work with! Ask anyone in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Christian scholar, thinker and writer C.S. Lewis wrote, “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

Through the eyes of God, our dry and lifeless bones, our singleness, our divorce, our health, our empty nest, our infertility, our old bodies become the fertile ground for being filled with the breath of God.

Where in your life are your bones tired? What part of your life seems lifeless? When our lives reach the point where we are lifeless, exhausted, or in some ways dead inside, this is fertile soil for the Spirit.

The breath of God has the power to take our suffering and transform our lives. When we are filled with new life and new purpose the healed person becomes the healing person. The forgiven person becomes the forgiving person. The loved person becomes the loving.

Have a Blessed Week.

Rev. Daniel Christian is the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Ukiah. www.fpcukiah.org

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