I find it exciting when I realise that God is saying the same things to different people in different places, when there is a sense of the amazing foreknowledge of God! Dave spoke to us yesterday about how the topic of prayer has also been burning in one of the local churches where he preaches, just as it is becoming a recurring feature of our church life! Similarly, the topic of ‘dry bones’ in the family service has not only been high on the agenda of our church for some time now, it is clearly a topic that God is stirring in others, if the number of songs on this theme are anything to go by!
We sang a ‘golden oldie’ on this theme at the family service (‘Dem Dry Bones’ by Delta Rhythm Boys), but there are many more recent songs:
‘Awake My Soul’, Chris Tomlin
This song features the rapper Lecrae and combines the very simple idea (‘Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me. Speak to me, Word of God, speak to me. I come alive, I’m alive when You breathe on me… when You speak to me’) with a reading from Ezekiel 37 itself and the rapper’s interpretation of this (‘I realise You breathe out, I come alive; Your word gives life to my dry bones; Your breath tells death it can ride on!’) The chorus goes:
“Awake, awake, awake, my soul.
God, resurrect these bones.
From death to life,
For You alone,
Awake, my soul.”
Sometimes, it just takes one idea to stir the imagination; for me, it was the connection of the word ‘resurrect’ in the chorus with the resurrection of Christ and a firm belief as I walked the streest of Goldthorpe in January that God will bring new life to these desolate places.
Another song on this theme which was written in 2011 is ‘Fires’ by Matt Redman. I preached on the theme of God keeping our fires burning last April. The song starts with the image of the valley of dry bones:
“We’re standing in the desert of dry bones
But still we see Your life
Walking through the valley of shadows
But holding onto light.”
A very pertinent song on this theme, connecting the historical narrative of Ezekiel 37 with a modern-day parallel of how our churches need God’s life in them today, is Casting Crowns’ song ‘Spirit Wind’.
“A pastor stands before his congregation
Once a mighty army for the Lord
But now he stares into the lifeless eyes
Believers leading carnal lives
He wonders what they’re fighting for
But driven by a calling on his life
He spoke God’s word like he’d done a hundred times before
But this time he comes broken and weeping
With tears of a broken heart
And he cries out to the Lord.
Oh Lord, send Your wind into this valley
And breathe the breath of life into their souls
And raise them again a mighty army
For soon these arisen warriors will battle again
For they have been filled with the Spirit Wind.”
The last song I’d like to mention is Nikki Fletcher’s ‘Dry Bones’ (due to be released on the Worship Central Album ‘Let It Be Known‘ on March 11). This again takes the theme of God changing us and transforming us as He breathes on us:
“We are here
Longing to be changed
Breathe into our lives again
Don’t let us leave the same.”
What other songs do you know on this theme?!