Today’s household object is the computer and the Bible passage is Ezekiel 36:24-29, where God promises to remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.

The blue screen of death. Have you ever faced that? You turn on your computer, and instead of it whirring into life, you simply see a blue screen. You can’t access any of the files on the computer; you can’t connect to the Internet. Things that normally take seconds are just impossible to achieve. Sometimes, the problem is with the hard disk which acts as the computer’s memory. It can be corrupted and we may need expert help in recovering the precious data it contains.

Ezekiel was a prophet during the difficult days of exile, when God’s people were far from their homeland. They felt disoriented, depressed and frustrated. ‘Their memories of the past and their hopes for the future, along with their possessions and networks of relationships, had been disrupted.’ (‘At Home In Lent’, P 124) It was into this situation that Ezekiel brought a word of hope, that God would give them new hearts of flesh to replace the seized-up, sinful ones of ‘stone.’

The gospel story tells us that we can have a clean start, a fresh start, that God can and will restore and renew what is broken, enabling anyone to start afresh, any time. That’s good news!