Lent 5 - Year A
Out of a pool - sight.
Out of dry valley - word.
Note that the only evidence given for this inner vision is in last verse of the pericope, “... and I will place you on your own soil.”
In today’s world, with all the competing words and the immense power of money, the power of this vision of the lost being found can hang on only so long before it becomes mere words blowing in a very dry wind. There needs to be a bit of evidence thrown in every so often, lest these images fade sufficiently to go in one ear and out the other.
A history of peace instead of history of war would be one way of being reminded that there is everyday evidence that spirit still lives and jubilee still occurs. This is where a community comes in handy, to remember moments of integrity in spite of every cost/benefit analysis that says there is no use.
I suspect that this passage was chosen on the basis of graves being opened, but a stronger reason for its use on this Sunday is the opening question: “Can these bones live?” It is another way of asking, “Who’s at fault, whose sin at work here?” To respond hopefully to one is to respond faithfully to the other.
To say, “No, these bones can’t live” rather than finessing it with “Only you know”, is to acknowledge “sin” as the real bottom line. To claim, that old, dried out bones still have value is to move into new territory of an unfated tomorrow.