Come Holy Spirit, that They May Live
“Come Holy Spirit, that They May Live”
† In Jesus Name †
In these days, when we look around at our world, may our faith not be shaken, but instead may we heed God’s call to pray, and to ask the Holy Spirit to enter those who need to come to life in Christ!
The hand of the Lord has Brought us here..
Like the prophet Ezekiel, we have been brought to this place, by the hand of God. We have come from three or four different continents, and having possibly a dozen languages between us. Children and young adults, parents and grandparents and even a great grandparent or two…
God has brought us here to this valley, to the Los Angeles Basin, with a purpose not unlike Ezekiel’s vision that was shared a few minutes ago by Dr. Wang.
Indeed, the words of Ezekiel not only describe the time in which he lived, but describe our time as well. They also describe a time in between, when Jesus was the son of Man who fulfilled the prophecy, who brought healing to the dead bones of those who struggled with God.. and whose Spirit was poured into them, that they would live.
What a tremendous vision! What tremendous work God does!
What an incredible blessing it is, to be involved in such a vision, to be taken a hold of, and brought to a place where sin and death’s damage is so visible, and see God reverse it all!
That is why we have been gathered, to bring this hope to this place…
Do our hearts break, for what has left these bones so dry and brittle?
When my mom’s dad came to America from Italy, it was because this was the land of promise, looked at much as Israel looked forward to the promised land, and in the time of Ezekiel, looked forward to returning to it. Generations have come here, expecting blessings and freedom and the chance for a life. I believe strongly, that as revival sweeps our land, just as it has in the past, there is a chance those dreams of freedom will be restored, that the blessings of God can return to this or any other country, which for a moment has turned away from God. The entire Old Testament bears witness to this truth, for again and again, this was what happened, and God fulfilled the promises – He would be faithful and patient…even when they were not. Even when spiritually they were as dead as the bones in Ezekiel’s valley.
Spiritually, while there is still a remnant in America of those who trust in God, who turn to him, a great deal of our country is spiritually dead, as is this valley in which we live. A great evidence in this can be seen on our recent LA County ballot, where measure B mandated how an immoral industry was to provide “protection” for those in the industry! No longer are we as a nation, we as a people finding such industries immoral, but we are creating laws that would mandate that their immorality is “safe”?
It is hard to realize how far this country has fallen, how far, like Israel – whose name means “they who struggle with God” have gone astray, each doing what is right in their own eyes, with no thought to God’s ways, or the forgiveness He offers!
Such are the days when we should be crying Lord, Have Mercy!
And knowing that He will!
Time to Prophesy over these bones! Time to see them Heal!
The Son of Man was told to prophesy over the valley, to speak to it words of life, the words of hope that tell of the Spirit’s washing of renewal and regeneration as Paul tells Titus in our second reading.
That happens as the Gospel was lived out in the life of Jesus, as He came and healed the lame, the broken hearted, as He brought healing to those physically deaf and blind, and spiritually deaf and blind. As the gospel is poured out in the life of Christ, as the prophesy’s found in Ezekiel and Isaiah and Jeremiah and even Leviticus and Numbers are lived out in the life of Christ – the damage of sin is reversed, the bodies devastated and devoured by the sin of this world, and our own individual sin is reversed!
As we are united with Christ, as the Holy Spirit regenerated us, that healing, that restoration occurred in our lives….
As we proclaim God’s love, shown in Christ to this valley of bones, we will witness what occurred in the vision, what happened in the lives of every person called and claimed by Christ – we will watch the miracle of people being born again, born of water and Spirit!
For God’s word, the words we speak forth to those lost in darkness, are never uttered in vain…
Prophesy once more.. for the Spirit will bring them to life!
In our reading from Titus, there are two stages mentioned – regeneration – building up that which was ravaged by sin, and renewal – the restoration of life. They are not two processes, but one – as God justifies us by erasing the damage of sin, and sanctifies us – making us holy, setting us apart to His purpose.
IN the same manner, as part of the same prophecy, the son of Man in Ezekiel is directed to complete the prophesy, to called the Spirit to breathe life into these bodies, that they may live!
In Christ – this is one seamless promise – the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 as they are called to be cleansed in Baptism – a natural act as the cross and the empty tomb result in the Spirit falling on the people and breathing life into lives crushed by their own sin. In Ezekiel – verse 5, that is the first thing promised – the Spirit being breathed into them – and the restoration of their bodies! It is one movement, one act of God, one look at His work of Art, as He revives and renews His people!
Even so, as we look upon those who God speaks through us to- whether the pastors in gatherings like this, or the Bible Study leaders, or as you are talking to someone sitting at the next table at lunch, that is what is occurring – a change that will bring them to life, free them from sin, and pour out blessings that could never be seen, living under the rule of any man, of any system… but is seen as the norm for those who live in Christ, united to our Lord and Savor, cleansed by the power of God
Time to celebrate – as we live with Him, for we know He is our Holy Lord
My brothers and sisters – this is why we are gathered here. This is vision of the work of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated in our midst – in our valley of dry bones, in this place where dreams need to be fulfilled- even as they need to be clarified.
Our graves have been opened, the Spirit has poured into our lives, we have been raised from the dead, for we were crucified with Christ that we may live with Him forever!
For that is our homeland, whether our biological family is originally from Taiwan, or China, or the Phillipines, or German, or Italy, or Ireland….
Our homeland is where we live with God… no matter the geography..
For We know He is the Lord, we have heard Him speak the words of life…we have received His Spirit in our lives, and we know we are His people, called to speak to the Spirit to ask it to come into the dry bones of this valley, that they may live as well.
May, even as the Lord speaks through us, may we know the peace that comes from the Spirit of God, dwelling within us, the peace that we are kept in, our hearts and minds secured in, guarded by Christ Jesus.