Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





06 April 2014

Sermon: Lent 5A (OT)

6 April AD 2014
The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Title: These Bones Live (MP3 Audio)

Lazarus Summary: “Can these bones live?” It’s not just a prophetic vision. Today’s Gospel shows that a four-day-dead corpse can hear the words of the Incarnate Word. So also, those who are born dead in their trespasses (that would be anyone born since Adam and Eve) can hear God’s words of forgiveness, promise, and life — and live.

We hear and gain life when God calls us forth from the grave of self-adsorption, self-centeredness, and self-worship. Through the Gospel and the Sacraments, God animates sinfully dead, lost and condemned creatures and grants them the life of His Son.

Even if we die, we still live in Christ. We believe that just as He rose from the dead, so we will be raised bodily on the Last Day. Yet we don’t need to wait until that day to be alive in Christ — this gift belongs to all who believe in Him, all in whom the Holy Spirit has worked faith.

Text: The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Dry Bones Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon 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 was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, 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, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’

“Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.

“Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of These Bones Live.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 130; Romans 8:1-11; John 11:1-45 (46-53)

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