Being a Christian is often dull, or worse, a drudgery. In our personal lives we can experience tragedy, grief,
and set-backs. Our personal spiritual life is often deprived because of the very busy or complex life-styles. In
our congregation, we may at times feel worship is boring or lifeless. How may we be renewed and invigorated?
How may we find hope? Pentecost proclaims that God has breathed his Spirit into us through the Word, giving
us hope and new life.
The problem is that we tend to look for hope in places where God has not promised we will find it. We, like
the Israelites in Babylon, look at our wretched situation and long for a better life. We long to be at home with
the Lord—back in Jerusalem. Yet we often look to ourselves—our intellect, ingenuity, or our emotions—for a
sense of vitality. We often look to congregational programs or quick-fix strategies to lift us out of our despair.
Ezekiel 37: 1-14 talks about dead, dry, disconnected bones having a better chance of coming together, growing
flesh, and coming to life!
It is to God’s Word that we must look for life and hope. As Ezekiel did and said only what he was
commanded, so must we. The Word is able to accomplish the miracle of giving life to dead, dry bones. Why?
First, It is the Word of God: It is God’s powerful Word, giving life and hope. God does not leave us to fend
for ourselves, or devise our own strategies. He supplies us with his Word which brings into being something
from nothing. As at creation he spoke and it was, so now he speaks to us and we who were dead in sin are made
Secondly, It is the Word of the Spirit: The Word of the Gospel is the source of the Spirit for us, the life-
giving Spirit who energizes and encourages us. We have, all of us, received this gift through our baptism,
through which God has put his Spirit in us.
Third, It is the Word of the resurrection: It is the Word about Christ, who was put to death for our sins and
raised to life so that we might have new life. It is the purpose of the Spirit to bring Christ to us. The Gospel of
Jesus Christ, heard and received through the means of grace, breathes new life into us and gives us hope. But
now he is risen! Because of what he did for us, we have new life now—forgiveness, renewed spirits, and
joy—and the promise of resurrection!
So, in closing; the meaning and significance of Easter is made clear at Pentecost with the outpouring of the
Spirit, who bestows new life, resurrection, and hope. The Spirit, the breath of God, is in us through the Word.
That means that our lives are no longer characterized by lifelessness or despair—the old way of life has passed
away and died. Behold, the new has come! We are baptized—we have life, we have hope. God has spoken the
Word, and in the saying of it he has done it: “I will put my Spirit in you.”
Pastor Tim Casaday