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Bible Study: Easter 3 (A) – 2017

May 01, 2017

Ezekiel 37:1-14

When I read this passage, I hear under the words, “them bones, them bones, them dry bones,” that refrain I think I learned in Sunday School. As I dig into this prophecy from Ezekiel, I feel the strength of the four winds blowing with the breath of life into the valley. God here is speaking life into something that has been dismembered. God shows that nothing, not even death, is beyond the realm of God’s mighty power.

  • What dry bones in your life can you ask God to breathe new life into?
  • What or who needs your prophecy – who is God reaching through you?

Psalm 130

I am not a very patient person. This psalmist, who speaks so poetically on waiting for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, captivates me. I need to be reminded to wait, but perhaps there is also a place for my impatience in waiting. Watchmen waiting for the morning might be calm, but my soul waits for God more than that – perhaps there is excitement in my impatience. In God’s word lies my hope.

  • What are the ways, in prayer, that you wait for God?
  • What do you feel in your waiting?

Romans 8:6-11

As we learned in the lesson earlier, God’s power is not stopped by flesh and bodies. The body is made and created in God’s image, and part of our body is also our Spirit. I read the distinction here between setting your mind on flesh versus setting your mind on Spirit as being a religious distinction – Spirit, capitalized, reads to me about setting your mind on God rather than on yourself.

  • What do you need to give up to focus on God?
  • How can you celebrate the Spirit that is part of your body?

John 11:1-45

This gospel is rich. I often think about how the roles between Mary and Martha are reversed – that Martha, this time, is the one to meet Jesus. I also hear so stingingly her words, that, “If you had been here this wouldn’t have happened.” I am also struck, after all of these lessons about God overcoming death, by the power of God to breathe new life into that which we thought was gone forever. But today, what I am struck most by is the gratitude that Jesus gives. Before he asks God for anything, he gives thanks. In a world that so often seems to breed selfishness, I think gratitude is one of the purest antidotes.

  • What can you thank God for?
  • What might God want to resurrect for you, and breathe new life into? 

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Christopher Sikkema


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