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.
Breath of God
By Paul and Terry Amos
In Ezekiel 37 God shows the prophet a valley of dry bones. Verse 10 says “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army”, (NIV). Although the dry bones had been assembled, had flesh and skin, they were not alive and were not a vast army until God’s breath entered them. The Holy Spirit raising them up to be a community for God.
During the 36 years we have been a part of KUMC, we have seen our lives changed by the Holy Spirit moving mightily in this community of believers. KUMC has provided a place for our family to participate in many wonderful programs, mission trips, and small groups, and we were moved and called to be a part of these things because the Spirit of God makes us alive in Him.
As we write this devotion we are in the mountains of Colorado. When we look at the overwhelming beauty and majesty displayed, we find ourselves keenly aware of God’s creation and His presence in our lives. Yet we are compelled to remember it is His breath in us, the presence of the Holy Spirit, that makes us aware of Him. Through the years at KUMC we have been encouraged and instructed to listen to God both in our individual lives and as a community.
In December of 2008, our family began a journey through the US immigration process because our daughter-in-law self-deported to El Salvador. This journey came to a joyous conclusion in September of 2016 when she was granted permanent residence in the US. During this almost eight year process, we encountered frustrations, heartbreaks, and other “dry bone” experiences. We were uplifted by the thoughts, prayers, and encouraging words of our community at KUMC. Many members of the Apostle Sunday school class, the coffee moms’ group, Friday morning AHP mens’ group, and others who knew of our situation repeatedly asked for updates, told us they were praying, and encouraged us to remain faithful. This also included the entire staff at KUMC and the Tuesday morning prayer group praying over the visa application papers prior to submission. Because others reminded us of God’s presence and provisions, we were able to encourage and uplift our son reminding him of God’s faithfulness.
What a true blessing to be in the midst of a church family whose words and actions flow from the life God has breathed into them!
Philippians 2:1-4 “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.”
How has community encouraged you during something difficult?
When have you had a “dry bones” experience?
How can you celebrate the breath that God has breathed into you? Into KUMC?