“Human one, can these bones live again?” ~Ezekiel 37:3
I was happy and excited to be able to attend Ash Wednesday Services at my church last night. It was a wonderful service that was filled with songs and prayers and silent moments of seeking to be in relationship with God. We were challenged to not only “Give Something Up” but to also “Take Something Up.” We were reminded that the giving up of something is not simply “having no chocolate for forty days,” it’s when you are craving chocolate you are reminded that you gave it up for Lent and you are being drawn closer to God. One of our ministers shared a responsive prayer with us and it was exactly what my spirit/soul needed to hear. I’m including it here for you and my hope is that you find it comforting and reassuring of God’s LOVE for you.
The scripture passage and reading for today was like reading a page about my own family. My mother and her mother (grandma) would take flowers to the cemeteries every May usually a week or two before Memorial Day. It was a yearly event and a two-day process that took us to many small towns north and south. I remember it was usually my dad, mom, grandma and my aunt (mom’s sister) and me on these trips. Many of the cemeteries were down lonely old gravel roads and often the headstones were overgrown with flowers and vines. This practice became a family pilgrimage every year that not only celebrated our ancestors and their final resting place but also a chance to stop and visit living relatives we didn’t often get the chance to visit with. Most generally these outings would also include sharing in a meal with relatives and have conversations about those who are no longer with us and we would tell stories and laugh and remember. The first year after my mom passed away I simply could not participate in this family pilgrimage, I was still hurting at the loss of my mom. However, this past year, I went with my aunt and her daughter and granddaughter to several of the cemeteries we continued some of the traditions and started some new ones. It is a privilege and an honor to pay respects to my ancestors who formed the foundations of our families and our values. As it is written in the text for today, we also have the same assurances and promises from God that Ezekiel did regarding the dry bones of our ancestors, nothing is impossible for God, with only the breath of God and the dry bones are put back together and brought to life. “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” ~Romans 6:8 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%206:8&version=NIV
“…and whoever lives by believing in me will never die…” ~John 11:26 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=John%2011:26&version=NIV
God of my ancestors, remind me who I am.
~Blessings and Peace~