As we worshipped at Dwell I read Ezekiel 37:1-14 about a vision the prophet Ezekiel was given. He was standing in an open plain, surrounded by dry bones that were scattered all around him. There was no life, and God was leading him amongst the bones; it was as if a great battle had taken place leaving many long dead. Yet he was told, a mere man, to prophesy to these bones – prophesy sinews and muscle onto them, meat and skin onto them and to prophesy breath into them. The nation of Israel was encouraged to be once again filled with hope.
I believe the encouragement from this is two-fold, look up, cast your gaze once again on our great God and be filled with hope for your own situations, and then come together as the church, within your community, and be filled with hope corporately, not because anything necessarily looks different, but because we are gazing once again on our creator, the great I am, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. And prophesy God’s life into all you see around you…. prophesy to the dry bones of your circumstances, and the circumstances within your communities, and believe, step out and act as you are prompted to.
As we gaze on Jesus, taking on heaven’s perspective, we are reminded that we are in Christ, as Paul Tothill said so often over his time with us, we no longer live but Christ lives in us; from this new position with the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to each of us, to draw comfort and help from we move into our communities, not in our strength, and our efforts, but led by him. Jesus promised us, his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Be encouraged KingsGate, you are carriers of his light as you are hidden in him (Colossians 3:3), so know that, come to be aware of that as you go out. Can we be a light in the darkness (John 1:5)? Can we be salt to those around us (Matthew 5:13)? Can we be a city on a hill (Matthew 5:14-16)? Yes we can. Not on our own, but with Jesus, and his Holy Spirit, and with the encouragement of gathering together, and loving each other with extravagance, as Emma prompted us in her recent blog. A kind word, a phone call, a visit, a moment in a coffee shop, where you give up your time to listen to another, or are willing to carry on a conversation with a stranger, who just may need your conversation to change their day or their life. Let’s breathe God’s life into the dry bones KingsGate, not abandoning those we love, our friends, and our fellow KingsGaters, but let’s trust him a little more, and keep our eyes firmly on him to spread the kindness of his love, enabled by him.