WEEK 1: MARCH 1-5
We begin our Lenten journey together on Ash Wednesday and appropriately we start with the “Valley of Dry Bones” from Ezekiel 37. In this valley there is a stark visual of death, dryness, nothingness—think ashes from Ash Wednesday service. Then God tells the prophet to breathe life into the valley and the bones are raised to life. At Kingwood United Methodist Church we are a people that have individually been brought to life by Christ so that as a community we can Rise Up to join Christ in His mission in the world. We stand by the truth that it is only on Christ that we stand, much like the valley of dry bones brought to life. This week as you spend time with the daily devotionals be sure to include intentional times of prayer over Ezekiel 37.
When the Spirit Breathes
By Rev. Chris Harrison
We mark life on this planet by the breaths we take. Our birth involves taking our first breaths and our passing away involves our final breaths. Breathing is fundamental to life.
What is true of our physical bodies is also true of our spirits. True Christ-filled, abundant life begins when we are filled with the breath of God’s Holy Spirit. In fact the very name of God which we spell YHWH has no vowels in it. Try to pronounce YHWH with no vowels at all and all you get is a breath or the wind.
When God’s Spirit breathes things begin to happen. Life is restored. Relationships are healed. A new sense of created purpose erupts and the power to accomplish that purpose is born. Through the presence and filling of God’s Spirit our spirits are awakened to the life which God has created us to live!
In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is led by the Spirit to a valley filled with dry bones. Bones which are lifeless. Bones that have no way of living on their own. Then the prophet is instructed to speak to the bones and tell them that the sovereign Lord is about to bring them to life, to add muscle and tendons and flesh and skin to them. To fill them with life and hope. And when the Spirit breathes a vast army rises up for the Lord!
I love how the Spirit is breathing amongst the people called Kingwood United Methodist Church! I am amazed how the Spirit is causing us to rise up and become a voice of hope for those in our community who have no voice. I am inspired by how the Spirit rises us up to proclaim the good news throughout our schools and workplaces and families and community! God is offering us new life so that we might offer new life to people in Haiti who need meals and clean water, and freedom to those spending their lives imprisoned behind bars of metal and fear. When the Spirit breathes at KUMC people in Tanzania who long for medical attention are met at their point of need, people in Central America receive wells of living water, children in need of love and forever families discover an Oasis of hope, and people within walking distance of 1799 Woodland Hills see the love of Christ expressed through His people.
The Spirit is breathing and we are rising up for the glory of God!
Spend some time reflecting about how God is breathing life into your small group, Sunday school class, family, or even your own personal experience: