Last year at this point, the valley of the dry bones story was one of the appointed readings for Sunday worship. Those bones in the valley were very dry, but we had an even worse situation in the church. We did not even have bones to preach to. There was not a bone in the pew. Today, as we transition closer and closer to life as it was pre-COVID, we can find lots of bones laying around. We have a Word from Jesus Christ to actually breath life into you bones.
To do that, we need to demystify one of the commonly accepted happenings of what Jesus does. It’s easy to read Acts and think that Jesus is leaving – that Jesus is having a going-away party, and his successor, the Holy Spirit, is going to fill his position. That is not happening. Jesus is not a helium balloon. He does not float away softly into heaven. You don’t want your savior to be doing that. You want him to stick around.
That’s exactly what he does. Jesus is coming into your life, not leaving it. Let’s look at the mode by which he comes into your life – through the Holy Spirit, through words. If not for the Holy Spirit, you’d have no idea who Jesus Christ is.
The Holy Spirit is a holy postmaster of sorts. When you send a letter, the postmaster does not get to edit what you said. The postmaster simply hands it over to the recipient.
The Holy Spirit speaks the promises that God, the Father, gives. But not only does the Holy Spirit simply deliver a message, as if he just pinned it on the town announcements board, He declares it to you. Whatever the message is, the Holy Spirit comes in and says, “This is yours.”
Jesus says, “All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” What do the Father and the Son hold that is so precious? What do they have that would be appealing to us?
They have breath. They author breath. They get to decide who breathes and who does not, and they get to decide these things eternally. They get to decide who has breath forever, and they get to decide who is not going to have breath.
The way they do this is very unique. You would not expect it. There’s not a test to see who is worthy of breath. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together to give breath to dry bones – to people who are not doing anything.
When you finally do crumple up into nothing but a pile of dry bones, Christ comes with his judgment. This judgment is so free that we do not have to wait for you to physically die. The Holy Spirit promises breath to you, today. Now that you have this breath of eternal life, you know that the Lord has spoken. Amen.