Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Can Our Church Live Again?

Ezekiel 37:3

He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Photo on 6-21-16 at 2.53 PMMost of us remember the hay day of our favorite sports team. I have friends who remind me of the Boston Celtics’ hay day – when they won 8 straight NBA championships from 1959-1966. In total they have 17 NBA championships. Or there are my friends who remind me of the New York Yankees’ hay day – when they won championship after championship – 27 World titles and 40 American League championships so far.

Most of us – as we live into our later years – can remember our hay day as well. Pictures surface of our wedding day – 30 – 40 – 50 plus years ago – and we remember. We were young – we were in shape – we had a lot going for us (we had hair and it wasn’t white).

Some of us – if not most of us – attend churches where some remember the hay day of that church. They remember the pastor who was at the church when it was in its hay day and often wonder why they can’t return to those golden years. I was a pastor of a church when it was in its hay day and I have pastored churches that had hay days in the past. In both cases – it had little to do with the pastor and much to do with the combination of variables.

The question we should be asking ourselves in church life is the same question from today’s passage – Son of man, can these bones live? Can our churches that are past some hay day in the past – be revived and have a new hay day (not defined by numbers but impact on believers and non-believers alike)?

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Ezekiel 37:1–6 – 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

The prophet was commanded to prophesy to the dry bones – and we the people of God are called to tell and hear the Good News – that Gospel – the Truth. God breathed into the dry bones and God can breathe into our dry pews and our dry lives and give us life again (even as some are alive already). Our churches that are not having a hay day right now can have a hay day once again – a day of plenty and harvest. We simply are called to be faithful and place our trust in God rather than in each other. Our success as a church has very little to do with us (other than our open hearts and spirit) and everything to do with an act of God. Yet God will not act if we are not open vessels for His action.

If God can bring to life a valley of dry bones – God can raise up the faithful to bring Him glory in ANY church! Just saying!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

June 22, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

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