Daily Easter Devotion Thursday, April 4th

Thursday, April 4, 2013 – Psalm 47; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Acts 3:11-26 and John 15:12-27

Ezekiel 37:1-14 – 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.

When reading Fresh Air; The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life by Jack Levison I learned something or at least something was pointed out to me about this text that I hadn’t thought about. Before whenever I read this text, I imagined life coming back to these dry bones. It simply happened. Levison pointed out the process of life coming back to these dry bones.

The process: oly one after the other; scattered bones brought together, sinews on them, flesh upon them, and then skin, but still no life in them. It’s only as breath, God’s breath once again enters the body that it can breathe and have life.

We live in a time and a society that wants everything now. We want to be well – now! We want our fortune – now! We want the warming days of spring – now! What Levison pointed out so well, is that new life comes to us one step at a time. It’s not immediate. Only one thing after the other until life fully reenters us.

The process of grief is much like this. When someone close to us dies, or we lose our job, or …. We grieve the loss. There is very much a process of grief. Grieving doesn’t follow a prescribed order or timeline, but does include a process. I’ve experienced grief differently in different situations, but can identify each of the following most of the time.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance

In another place I found seven stages.

Shock and denial

Pain and guilt

Anger and bargaining

Depression, loneliness and reflection

Turning back to life

Reconstruction and working through

Acceptance and hope.

What strikes me about our reading for today and the stages of grief, is the process. Once we experience a loss, it takes time to put things back together again. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen all and once. And it is in God breathing life into us at each stage of the process that is important. God doesn’t abandon us, but is with us all along the way.

God be with us all, as we trust God to work with us in putting the pieces back together of our broken lives.

In a very real sense I think this is what Easter is all about.

Psalm 47 – 1   Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
2   For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.

5   God has gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Here is Sunday’s call to worship. It fits with Psalm 47

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y; That’s the Christian’s shout and cry,

Jesus rose on Easter Day, So we cheer, Hooray! Hooray!

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y; Watch the little butterfly,

Once seemed dead upon a tree, Now soars in sky – gives us glee!

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y; That’s the Christian’s shout and cry,

Jesus lives and so can we, Beyond the grave, eternally!

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