Not-So-Scary Stories of The Bible: Can These Dry Bones Live?

Each week Pastor Sarah offers a devotional reflection to connect with the South Shore UMC Family. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!

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The South Shore UMCommunity concludes our study of images of the ‘spooky season’ as they appear in Scripture – with skeletons at the Valley of Dry Bones.


Additionally, our Youth Worship Team will provide worship leadership during our Modern Worship Service and we will celebrate the sacrament of Baptism and the commitment of Confirmation in that service. What a day it will be! Please join us safely in-person or on our broadcast. And please be in prayer for our students as they prepare to lead and continue preparing their hearts for the commitments they will make.


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Sunday’s Scripture ~ Ezekiel 37:1-14.


Devotional Scripture ~ Romans 4:21.


In 2010 on Pentecost, Branches UMC in Florida City - the last exit on the FL-Turnpike before crossing into the Keys - burned. The arson was investigated but no arrests were made. The church was alight, but not in the way anyone ever wanted.


Our friend Audrey served Branches at that time. For two years - two.years. - in the South Florida heat and humidity amongst the gargantuan mosquitoes, the Branches UMC Family worshipped under a tent on their church property.


The cinders had been cleared away; even so, the lot still lingered with the scarred smell of the fire.


Early on, following the fire, Audrey adopted and incorporated these phrases into the narrative of faith at Branches:

  1. Our God is bigger.

  2. Our God is greater.

  3. Our God is not done with us yet.

Whenever the church gathered for worship, they heard these words. Whenever the church gathered for meetings, they heard these words. Whenever the church gathered for service, they heard these words. Branches was temporarily without a building, but that would not and did not hinder their shared ministry. To this day those three statements are foundational in their congregational narrative. Like a phoenix, Branches rose from the ashes. They are still rising - a testament to the ableness of God and the faithfulness of God’s people in God’s ableness.


Our faith necessarily includes growing in trust that God is able to do all that God promises. And that God is working even now in bringing about those promises. We may not understand God’s actions. We may not be able to identify God’s actions as such. We may not know the when, why, or how of God’s actions. Believing in God’s actions and believing in God in the midst of our confusion and lack of understanding is a witness to our faith. It is one way we grow our faith.


For all our confusion, for all that which we lack understanding, let us know this for certain: our God is able. And our God will deliver that which God promises.


Our God is bigger.

Our God is greater.

Our God is not done with us yet.


Reflection: Read Psalm 121; what has God promised us? What other promises of God does Scripture proclaim to us? Which of these promises is most important to you presently, and why?


Prayer: "O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us, revive your church with life and power. O Breath of Life, come, cleanse, renew us, and fit your church to meet this hour."* Amen.


*"O Breath of Life,” The United Methodist Hymnal 543.

**Devotional Resource: The Weekly Faith Project by Zondervan.