At Pentecost, many Christian traditions remember the story of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. It’s a powerful image because we know what it feels like to be in that valley. As Christians invite the Holy Spirit into their lives in new ways this Pentecost season, we find ourselves standing with Ezekiel in that valley.
This year has been difficult for us, and for many of you, too. Our country aches for healing of divisions and hatred. After promising and invigorating changes to the MCC’s governance structure and internal systems, we were ready to hit the ground running, ramping up new programs and projects. Instead, we found ourselves stymied by a notice that our lease, at our office of over 83 years, would be terminated. Having to move took up so much more of our spiritual, emotional, and mental resources than we had imagined. But as we stood in that valley of dried bones, we asked for your help, and you showed up for us. As God instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones—and they found themselves assembling, covering with flesh and sinew—we asked for your support for our move and you responded with an overwhelming number of generous gifts. You put us back together and got up on our feet again.
As we enter a new season and a search for a new staff person, we remain buoyed by your partnership. But like the many bodies in the valley with Ezekiel, we need help finding our breath. God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath, and the Spirit of God filled the living, moving people who had once only been dusty bones. Now we are asking you, will you prophesy to the breath? Will you join us in following the movement of the Holy Spirit in Massachusetts by giving generously to make the vibrant church visible?
We can feel the urgent work that needs to be done. We can see the end of the process of unpacking and onboarding ahead. But we cannot make it there alone. Give now as witnesses that the Spirit of God is moving and will continue to move among us.
P.S. We are always at work nurturing innovative, vibrant ministry in New England. This spring, my new podcast launched! Called “Can These Bones,” the podcast, in partnership with Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, asks a fresh set of questions about leadership and the future of the Church. Each episode features conversations with leaders from the church and other fields to breathe life into leaders struggling in the “valley of dry bones.” Find it online here!