ezekiel in aleppo

by Jeff Rainwater, 27 March 2017, Denver, CO
Inspired by Ezekiel 37:1-14

“The Lord said to me,
Mortal, can these bones
live?” [*]

Can dry bones find life
when tyrants walk free
who slaughter their own
and let bodies rot
as food for vultures?

Will these bones ever
stand tall again when
nations profit from
the bombs and bullets
that cut down children?

How will families
ever be remade
when borders and homes
and jobs are barred from
the woe filled remnant?

Can these bones live?

“And I answered,
O Lord GOD, you know.”

Only You know.

[*] Ezekiel 37:3

Time to Refuel: The Part of Prayer We Don’t See

Every conquering temptation represents a new fund of moral energy.  Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.   -William Butler Yeats

I haven’t posted an image I’ve created in a while.  Here is the image for this week’s message.  Most of the credit for  this image should go to hidesy, a contributor on istockphoto.  The muted colors of the photograph speak to the emptiness and need to refuel through prayer I was trying to portray.  She entitled it “Desperate Hope” which is another good name.  The addition of the fuel gauge and the text were easy after that.

As I was thinking about prayer and what happens when we pray, I ran across some good insights from Robert Schnase.  In speaking about worship he writes,

“Perhaps only one third of the knowledge and wisdom to live meaningfully is reducible to and reachable by conscious, linear, rational thought…”   from Forty Days of Fruitful Living

Only one third is reachable by conscious thought.  So we can’t really see or analyze the affect of the other two-thirds.  Interesting.  I certainly think that is true for prayer, which is after all a part of worship.  Sure, when we pray, we usually pray for something.  We are about to make some big decisions for our church.  So I have asked the church members to pray every day over the next forty days.  And every day I try to give them something to pray for specifically.  But in some ways that “something” is beside the point.

In prayer, we are connecting with the source of power and wisdom and love that will enable us to persevere whether the prayer is “answered” or not.  In that way, every prayer is an answered prayer.  And that is an encouraging thought.

This week’s image

"A patch of fog" worship image

“A Patch of Fog:” Worship Image for February 19, 2012

One of my hobbies is creating worship images each week to match the theme we are focusing on.  Here is this week’s image.  It is Transfiguration Sunday – a powerful Sunday when Jesus is revealed in all His glory.  Laura, who will be preaching, will focus on the moment a cloud descends and God speaks.  What should we do when we find ourselves in a patch of fog and uncertain which direction we should turn?  We should listen.

That’s all Laura will tell me about the sermon. 🙂  I look forward to hearing more tomorrow.  If you are in Laramie, I hope you can join us.