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Lent 2011

God's Glory Shines Through You

Fifth Sunday in Lent

By Deaconess Rosie Guadarrama Upland, Calif.

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord God, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord." So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord."

— Ezekiel 37:1-14


After reading the Bible passage, I immediately reflected on the blessing I say after each yoga session: "May the long time sun, shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on." This verse is repeated three times, first for oneself, the second time for someone we know who needs it and the final time for the universe.(There are many parallels between yoga and praying, getting on our knees with our hands folded in front is a yoga pose as well. Prayer is meant to open the flow between God and you; yoga clears the chakras to be one with the universe, thus bringing us closer to our God.)

Each one of us has a pureness about us, which God personally breathed into us when God gave us life: "I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil" (Ezekiel 37:14). As everything that is pure, it must not be contaminated with negativity, or diluted with doubt, but kept pure. Perhaps we can view it as part of the inner child who always remains pure. Our pureness is maintained with prayer, good deeds, acts of charity and believing in our Lord and Savior. There will be moments of discouragement, it is in our nature, but we must always keep the faith. It is only during the times that we are down that we experience the words of Jesus to his disciple in John 11:10 when he says, "But those who walk in the night stumble, because the light is not in them." Let's aim to keep the eternal beam glowing and alive.

For the mere asking, God will provide direction, a way of showing us how to get back on track, so to speak.

There are times when a part of us dies, due to a loved one's death, an illness or job loss. During those times, our faith can be small. Our acts of kindness diminish. Our compassion becomes fatigued. With a mere asking, it is during these times when God resurrects us. This resurrection as with the bones in Ezekiel's passage is a process, not a one-time act. He ensures our goodness be reinstated to our body, mind and soul.

In Ayurvedic medicine it is believed that one does not live a full existence without the body, mind and soul, the three being in unison. When the tripod of life is balanced our light shines to its fullest.

When we have those moments of "little faith" it is important to reflect and do some soul searching to find out why we are where we are in life. Upon that reflection, if we are true to ourselves and ask God for direction, God will provide life and restore us both physically and spiritually. The dry bones in Ezekiel represent the people's spirituality, their lack of faith and their dead condition. We are each a heap of dry bones once or twice (sometimes more) in our lives. For the mere asking, God will provide direction, a way of showing us how to get back on track, so to speak. God will bless us with favor so that our internal light can gleam hope for ourselves and for those that see our pure light through the goodness we generate. All this happens because God is the resurrection and the life, the ultimate light. God who is life can surely restore life. When you believe, you see God's glory shine through you. Others also see the glow in you by your actions, of kindness and acts of faith, they want to mimic you, be like you—this is true evangelism, when others join our faith because of the goodness and pure light they see in everything we do. We live as an example of our faith.

One way to clearly see God's love is in the simple act of counting our blessings. I invite you to construct a list of all your blessings and watch it grow into this endless reservoir of resurrecting faith, a faith that is deep, rich and complex, a faith that surprises us with new questions, and new growth.

The world is made up of many people, those who do not believe and those that do, those who lack faith and those who have it in abundance. There are those who will see God's miracle in you and see you as a threat, as they did Jesus, when he raised Lazarus from the dead. But blessed are those who believe as Mary, Martha and the disciples did when Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. Their faith will shine forever.

Prayer

Gracious God, help me to count my blessings and make my actions those that glow for you. Amen.

Last Updated: 04/05/2014
 
 

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