Today, Pastor Chelo (Eglise de la Grace Bercy) walked up to the front after worship and sang a few lines of a song to open his message with the congregation. He then said, “open your Bibles to Ezekiel 37” – and of course, my ears perked up.
I had just been talking about this very passage with a team during a sunset hike, a talk that I have done more times than I can count. If you’ve been on an experience trip with CPR-3, you’ve heard how it’s been a part of the foundation for CPR-3, a movement who wants to be known for “Breathing Life & Hope Into Haiti.” I loved the perspective and the application from our dear friend and pastor this morning.
What Our Eyes See
I loved Chelo’s visuals, on this passage, going into detail with visuals if God put dry bones in front of our eyes. Dogs are constantly chewing on old bones here, and Chelo talked about a dried up horse bone that a church member may see a dog chewing on. He asked the congregation, “If God asked you if that bone could become a horse, what would you say?”
No! The answer we naturally go to is no! Chelo explained the passage and how our eyes and all they see – in our homes, in the community of Bercy, in Haiti as a whole – our eyes see “no” as the only possible answer.
The passage isn’t just about bones and flesh, it’s about hope. Looking over a valley of dry bones, is there an ounce of hope to be found?
In this community where Chelo just found out that there is a girl only 14, who already has 3 children, is there hope to be found? Revival around the corner? Transformation that is possible in a dry and weary land?
But Ezekiel said, “God, you alone know”.
Prophecy to the Bones
Not only did God know and answer that it was possible, He made it happen. But did God say, “Yes, it is possible. Ezekial, I will now prophecy”?
No! God invites us and wants us to PARTICIPATE. God, who is more than able, tells Ezekiel, “Prophecy to these bones!”
And Ezekiel obeys as he was commanded.
And God uses him.
This Story is for Everyone
Ezekiel is a typical Old Testament story – seeming more like a fairy tale, far off, or not applicable. But Chelo spoke life into his church this morning, telling them that there is not one person this story does not apply to.
With our eyes, everyone in the building has something in life where they see no hope. Everyone in the church has a situation, emotion, family member that they cannot imagine life in.
Chelo said, “We could ask ‘how’ all day long. God, how will you do this? How will we fix this problem? How will you change this community? How could you transform this family? How could you build a future here?”
But Ezekiel did not ask how. His eyes saw “no”, But he said “God, you alone know.” And when God responded with a command, Ezekiel listened – with no ‘how’ on God doing what seemed impossible.
And God breathed life into the dead bones in the valley.
What This Means in Chelo’s Church
There is a challenge for 2015 for the members of Chelo’s church – invest in one person. Not 12, not 3, just one. Disciple them, pour into them, spend time talking about Jesus. Pull out the Bible and just talk about it. Keep showing up for that one person. Make them your mission. Chelo used this message to give vision and encouragement in this, talking to a building of people who are not comfortable with this challenge for the year. Do not follow what your eyes see, do not ask how – just do as God has commanded. Take the power of God and speak life into the bones of Bercy.
CPR-3’s driver Freguel and his wife are attending Chelo’s church and were called up front at the end. The application of this message went to a more intimate level as Chelo asked the church to pray with them for a recent miscarriage. Chelo once again used the hopeless, where our eyes say no, and said “God alone knows” – and the church proceeded to start a beautiful prayer over both this family and the community of Bercy.
Where can Pastor Chelo’s perspective of Ezekiel 37 be applied in your life? Where the world and your eyes see the dry valley of bones, the impossible, and say “no” – God alone knows what can be done in the seemingly hopeless valley.
We are so thankful for Pastor Chelo, his passion for the gospel’s power and the community’s people, and the partnership of Grace Bath to make life giving Sunday mornings possible at Eglise de la Grace Bercy.”