Summary: An independance day theme about returning hope to America

1The 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. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath£ to enter you, and you shall live. 6I 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.” 7So 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. 8I 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. 9Then 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.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11Then 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.’ 12Therefore 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. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I 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 (NRSVA)

A father took his young daughter to see the Statue of Liberty. He taught her the meanings of the torch and book. She was impressed as she noted the inscription at the base of the statue:

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden shore.

When they returned home she seemed restless. Her Dad asked if anything was the matter. Said the little lady, "Daddy, that lady must be awful tired after holding up her arm all these years. Isn’t there any way we can help her hold up that torch?" Indeed, we must help the lady with her torch.

Christian responsibility means more than "flag waving" and speeches. There is a wisdom and work involved in being a Christian citizen. As we move towards celebrating our nation’s 233rd birthday, let us be inspired by the example of another patriot.

The time was long ago. The city had been captured and destroyed, its best young citizens carried away to prison camps. Even the religious symbols and treasures were gone, the meeting house leveled. It was a time to wail.

The city was Jerusalem...the patriot, Ezekiel. What did he do? How did he serve God and his beloved Israel in the midst of such tragedy and downfall?

Observe the Conditions Ezek 37.1,2

Ezekiel was given this vision of a valley of dry bones. The bones represented his nation, his beloved Israel. Notice that each word conveys how sad the situation had become. There was a valley, a place of depression. The valley was full of bones. There were many bones. They were on the floor of the valley, and they were very dry.

Ezekiel’s whole nation had been sacked. The people appeared to him as nothing more than a valley of dry, parched bones. There was little hope that Israel would ever be a viable nation again.

To many of the Christian family today, our nation appears in much the same condition as in Ezekiel’s day. We are indeed a "parched people."

• Broken marriages;

• Economy in shambles;

• Morality parched beyond recognition.

• There is no move of God sweeping through the land.

• We live in confusion where the eggs of bald eagles are preserved like gold, and the unborn humans are discarded as garbage.

• Those who choose to discipline their children are as apt to be disciplined by the courts for "abuse."

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