24 Mar Monday
Lent 5 A: The Resurrection of Lazarus
The powerful vision in the valley of the dry bones complements the resurrection of Lazarus. God speaks tenderly to His people, without judgment, condemnation, and threat; he says twice in the reading “O my people.” God speaks personally in the first person singular; the Hebrew stresses the verbs of God’s powerful actions, noting that none of these are things we human could do on our own even to this day. God opens graves, has people rise, brings the people back to their homeland. The grave opening is repeated twice. God says, I will put my Spirit in you, you may live, I will settle you, I promised, and I will do it.
Then you will know (repeated twice in our passage) the I am the LORD God. God is not doing this just to be nice to us, but to show forth his power and the right to claim our faith allegiance for God exclusively because of His conquest of death, sin, and evil.
As a background one should probably read the passage in context of the whole vision to get some small sense of the power of this end time event. Here on Laetare Sunday this lifts up our hearts and they surge to God in faith and worship with greater joy. Does a rose vestment help us and lead us to joy?