“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; ..”
When God Leaves The Building
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
When I was first starting out as a pastor, I used to go into the empty sanctuary and practice my sermon to an empty room. I have read that Billy Graham tried out some of his early sermons on alligators down in Florida and I’ve heard that some rural preachers try out their messages on cows and pigs!
But the old prophet Ezekiel was told to preach to a whole valley of dry bones! If nothing else, you gotta admire Ezekiel. Taking a deep breath, he started preaching and to his amazement, there was such power in God’s Word that the bones began to shake and rattle across that valley, clicking into place until life overcame death. No one was more surprised than Ezekiel.
We face new and unique challenges as the church these days. Maybe you are facing some struggles of your own. Today we are reminded that there is no power that can hinder the Word of God. There is no trouble or sadness that can separate you from the love of Christ. Our God is the Lord of life and we are sent into this world with His Word on our lips. Whenever we faithfully speak that Word, signs of life spring up all over the place!
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. When you think of your church, what are some of the “signs of life” that come to mind?
2. Have you ever been part of a congregation that is now closed for some reason? What are some of your memories of that church and how does that ministry live on in your own life of faith?
3. Have you had the experience of bringing God’s Word of hope and life into a “valley of dry bones?
Like Ezekiel, you are called to bring God’s gracious Word into difficult places. This week, look for the opportunity to speak a comforting word that may help bring hope and new life.
See you in church!