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Dry Bones

1August2012

Spirit, Breathe, and Wind are all the same word in the Hebrew language.  Whenever the scriptures talk of wind blowing or breath (especially breath coming into people) it is appropriate to understand this as the work of the Holy Spirit.  Think of Adam and Eve.  They were formless dirt-beings with no life until the breath of God was placed in their nostrils.  This is the same story that we have in Ezekiel.  The people of God had lost their breath and so they became a valley of dry bones.

When was a time that you were dried out?  What did you do about it?

Did community have any roll in your ‘coming alive’ again?

One of the greatest gifts that God gives is the gift of community.  We can strengthen, support, love, provide, and care for one another.  But we are also called to hold one another accountable, help sharpen each other, and care more about others than we do about ourselves.  Sometimes community is easy.  Sometimes it is hard.  Sometimes it is authentic and sometimes it feels manufactured.  But community is vital to our livelihood and our formation.  Here is a statistical nuance that doesn’t make sense.  There are approximately 13.3 million Jews in the world today.  This represents about .0019 Percent of the world population.  Yet, 22% of the Nobel Prize winners since 1901 have been Jewish.  Mathematically, this is statistically impossible.  Yet, what math can’t account for is the power of community.  More than any other culture, the Jewish people understand what it means to be a community—it is ingrained in their DNA.  In America, our youth experience a period in their lives where they go out to ‘find themselves’ or ‘find their identity.’  This doesn’t make sense to the Jewish culture because their identity is founded in the community and in the scriptures.  They read the Old Testament stories and they don’t think back to some strange guy named Moses.  They know that Moses is part of who they are.  He is part of their identity.  This, as best as scientists can tell, is the reason for the vast number of Jewish Noble award winners.

Spend some time thinking about the many different communities that you are a part of and invest some prayer for those communities and the people that are a part of those communities.

God calls us into community not so that we can feel hunky dory and sing kum ba yah around a campfire.  He calls us into community to send us out to expand that community and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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