Ezekiel 37: 1-14

New Resources

  • With Spirit

    by Kathy Donley
    In her book Learning to Walk in the Dark, author and priest Barbara Brown Taylor tells the story of being in Florida, at a time when the loggerhead turtles were laying their eggs. One evening, when the tide was out, she watched a huge turtle heave herself up on the beach to dig her nest and empty her eggs into it. Afraid of disturbing the event, Taylor quickly and quietly walked away. The next morning she returned to the beach to see if she could find the spot where the eggs were hidden. What she found instead were sea turtle tracks heading in the wrong direction. Instead of moving back into the sea, the loggerhead turtle had wandered into the dunes, the hot, dry, sandy dunes. Taylor eventually found the turtle a little ways inland, exhausted, all but baked in the sun, head and flippers covered with sand. She poured the water from her water bottle over the creature and then left to notify the beach ranger. The ranger soon arrived in a Jeep to rescue the turtle. He flipped the loggerhead on her back, wrapped two chains around her front legs, and then hooked the chain to the trailer hitch. Taylor watched horrified as the ranger then took off in the Jeep. The turtle’s body was yanked forward with such thrust that her mouth filled with sand. Her neck was bent so far back Taylor feared it might break. The ranger continued over the dunes and down onto the beach. There he unhooked the turtle at the edge of the water and turned her right side up. The loggerhead laid motionless in the surf, water lapping at her body, washing the dry sand away. As another wave broke over, the turtle lifted her head and moved her back legs. Soon other waves crashed over her and brought her slowly back to life. Finally one of the waves completely overcame the turtle, making her light enough to find a foothold and push off the beach, returning safely to the ocean. Taylor writes that watching the turtle swim away and remembering the horrible scene of the turtle being dragged through the dunes, she learned something -- that “It is sometimes hard to tell whether you are being killed or saved by the hands that turn your life upside down.”...
  • Exegesis (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

    by Richard Niell Donovan
  • Can These Bones Live?

    by Evan Garner

Resources from 2020

  • Life for Dry Bones

    Video with Eric Anderson
  • Lent 5A (2020)

    by Christopher B. Hays
  • Lent 5A (2020)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Prophesy to the Breath

    by Katie Hines-Shah
  • Sermon Starters (Lent 5A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    In his Trilogy of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien tells the story of Frodo Baggins and his company who are on a quest to destroy the evil Ring of Power. They journey into the elvish kingdom of Lothlerien, where Galadriel tells Frodo of the elves’ long resistance to the creeping evil of Sauron. Though they have lost their country bit by bit, she encourages him with these bracing words: “together through the ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.” That’s often how it seems; our battle with sin and evil, even in our own selves, is “a long defeat.” That is surely how it felt to ancient Israel. But God has a surprise for us. Defeat will turn to victory, as Frodo and his company will finally discover. And death will be overcome by sovereign love, as the Exiles and the followers of Jesus discovered.
  • Can These Bones Live?

    by Jim McCrea
    "An experiment of a different kind was performed by researchers at Amherst College in Massachusetts. They took a squash that was about the size of a person's head and placed a metal band around it. The band was attached to instruments that would tell them how much pressure the squash was exerting against the band as the squash tried to grow in spite of the constraint. Within a month the squash registered five hundred pounds of pressure against the band. But it was still trying to grow. In two months, it was exerting 1,500 pounds of pressure. When the pressure got to be 2,000 pounds, a ton of pressure, they had to reinforce the band. Finally at 5,000 pounds of pressure, no amount of reinforcement would work, and the squash broke the band. Inside, the squash was full of dense fibers that had grown to push against the band restraint. And the researchers also discovered that the squash plant had sent out more than 16 miles of root structures, searching for the necessary nutrients and water it needed to grow against the force holding it back...
  • Lent 5A (2020)

    by Marty Michelson
  • The Sleepers Must Awaken

    by Christy Randazzo
  • The Valley of Bones

    by Oscar A. Rozo
    When I think about superheroes, I don't think about powerful, strong, mighty superhumans, but about El Chapulin Colorado who was the antithesis of this image. Whenever we turned on the TV to watch El Chapulin, a deep voice would introduce him with the following words: “More agile than a turtle, stronger than a mouse, nobler than a lettuce, his shield is a heart… It’s El Chapulín Colorado!” El Chapulin was a small, feeble and accident-prone superhero who seemed to cause more problems than the villains he faced. And yet, whenever he would find himself in the Valley of Dry Bones, whenever all sense of hope was lost, the answer to all his issues came from everyone else but himself...
  • Prophesy!

    by Frank Spencer
    Let me tell you about Broad Street Ministries in my hometown of Philadelphia. It is run by Presbyterian ministers in a former large church building given by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, but it is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit. Broad Street serves over 6,000 of our homeless neighbors with food, mailboxes, health screening, clothing and art therapy. It attracts thousands of volunteers annually. Over a hundred people gather each Sunday for worship and half again as many for Wednesday night Bible study. But there isn't a single "member." The mainline churches are going to have to think of new ways to conceive of what constitutes a church and new ways for denominations and traditional congregations to support them...
  • Lent 4A (2020)

    by Karen Georgia Thompson

Resources from 2018 and 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Easter Vigil (C)(2019)

    by Corrine Carvalho
  • O YHWH, You Know

    by John Holbert
  • Fear Not!

    by Beth Johnston
    A small boy was intent on going to church one particular morning. Because his sister was sick his mother allowed him to go alone on the condition that he tell her what the sermon was about when he returned. When he returned his mother was very curious but waited to quiz him until after he ate his lunch. He ate in silence. Finally she asked, “What was the topic of the sermon, honey? Were you listening?” “Yes, Mom. I was listening but the sermon made no sense, the sermon was on quilts.” “Quilts?” questioned the astonished mother. “I’ve never heard a sermon on quilts! What did the minister say about quilts?” “Well, all I got from it was, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get a quilt”. “You’re right dear. That doesn’t make any sense! We don’t need a quilt. Maybe they are collecting quilts for the Red Cross. They give out quilts to people who need them, you know.” “No, Mom! Everyone will get one.” Very puzzled the mother finally picked up the phone and called the minister...
  • Bones and Sinews Waiting for Breath

    Image for Worship by Lynn Miller
    Italian painter (and architect and inventor and civil engineer and sculptor and ninja turtle and...) Leonardo da Vinci captured the beauty and function of human bones and sinews in his many anatomy drawings. The importance of the figure in Renaissance art made an understanding of human anatomy a necessity for any artist. Leon Battista Alberti, a 15th-century art theorist, instructed artists that they should understand and paint the human figure as it is in nature: a skeleton and musculature that is covered with skin. For Alberti, drawing an external appearance was not enough. Artists needed to understand how the human body worked - bone to bone with connecting muscles.
  • Bones and Breath

    by Fay Rowland
    Scroll down the page for this resource.

Resources from 2015 and 2016

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Easter Vigil (C)(2016)

    by Corinne Carvalho
  • Living Bones

    by Bob Cornwall
  • Speaking from the Ashes

    by Kathy Donley
    At the Ash Wednesday service, I mentioned Sojourner Truth. She is a model of hope and faith for me. She was born into slavery in 1797 and named Isabella. She had 10 or 12 sisters whom she never knew because they were all sold away from her family. When she was only 9 years old, she was separated from her mother, sold to a master who abused her. She only spoke Dutch and he beat her for failing to understand his commands in English. Later she loved a man named Robert, but when he snuck away from his master to see her, they were caught and he was beaten so severely that he died. Later she married a man named Thomas with whom she had 5 children. When she was freed she took only her infant daughter with her. She had to leave her children behind because they were not free. I read the story of her life and the dry bones just pile up. It sounds to me like unrelenting despair. But Isabella did not give up hope...
  • Spirit Gifts

    by Jane Anne Ferguson
    ("The Ezekiel text reminds me of an Inuit story that I first encountered in Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It is titled, "Skeleton Woman" and is a beautiful parallel tale to the Hebrew story of Spirit calling life into and breathing flesh upon the dry bones...")
  • We Rattling Bones

    by John Holbert
  • These Dry Bones

    by Janet Hunt
  • The Bleached Boneyard

    by James McCrea
  • Pentecost (B)(2015)

    by Wesley White

Resources from 2017

Resources from 2012 to 2014

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Resources from 2008 to 2011

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Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources and Dramas

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The Classics

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