Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Fourth Week of Lent John 5: 17-30
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
Jesus sounds like the prophet Ezekiel in the vision of the dry bones that come to life again by the Spirit as the prophet speaks God’s Word. When the dead are given new life Ezekiel hears God say these words:
“O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.” -- Ezekiel 37: 12-14
The dead Jesus talks about are not just the ones who lie entombed in earthen graves. They are also those whose souls lie dormant in faithless repose while they continue to live and breathe, think and act unaware of the presence of the Lord of life in their midst. These are not the souls of those who live in squalor, persecution, famine or war. These are the souls of those who live in the first world; the world of the upper and middle classes; the world of busyness and tension; the world of entitlement and wealth. These are souls that are like dry bones waiting for the Spirit of life to reinvigorate them.
Lent is the time for us to hear the Spirit speak the word of life in the desert. This word breaks through all the illness and fear that paralyze us. The voice of the Son of God cries out here in the wilderness, “you are my beloved to whom I give my life. Rise up and follow me, and you shall live forever.”