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Monday, May 14, 2018

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Love That Gets Our Attention
Today we hear from Ezekiel, telling us of God grabbing his attention and thereby, changing him. Throughout the Bible, God transformed people through angels, dreams and/or visions. These came for various reasons--to warn, to protect, to guide or to reveal God's will. Sometimes the coming was to give assurance that God's presence was with them. For example: God came to Mary frightened at the empty tomb and to Daniel in the lion's den. God came long ago and still comes in these various ways. If alert, we'll see him in this way too.

Israel had lost their land and been taken away, devastated and exiled in a foreign land when God spoke to Ezekiel. In a dream he saw a pile of dry bones--as hopeless as Israel! And then a miracle happened. Before the eyes of his dream, he witnessed the bones stand, come together with muscle and flesh being shaped into people alive and walking. New life was happening. Ezekiel was now able to know and believe that God was at work bringing new life to his people. This believing led him confidently into God's new purpose and mission-- and Israel into their becoming, once again, a united people in their very own land.

Loving God, come to me now in my greatest fear and alert me to my new life and mission. Amen.

E. Corinne Chilstrom, '84
Retired ELCA Pastor, Green Valley, Ariz.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NRSV)

1 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; it was full of bones.
2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.
3 He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord God, you know."
4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord."
7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."
10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11 Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, "Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.'
12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.
14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.