Scripture: Ezekiel 1:28-3:3
Key verse: (2:6) . . . O, Mortal, do not be afraid of them and do not be afraid of their words . . .”
Reflection: Today’s passage describes the fantastic vision of God that Ezekiel experienced as he stood among the exiles along the river Chebar. The heavens opened up with a stormy wind and flashes of fire. He then describes what he saw — living creatures beyond description. Over the centuries, many artists have tried to recreate Ezekiel’s vision based on these verses. It is other-worldly and strange. At the center of it all, is the glory of the LORD. When Ezekiel saw this splendor, he fell on his face and heard the voice of someone speaking. It is at this point in the story that Ezekiel received his call from God to go to the house of Israel with a message of lamentation, mourning and woe. He had already experienced what it meant to be an exile, losing home and country. It would be 11 more years before Jerusalem fell. Ezekiel was sent by God to warn them that destruction was coming. God wasn’t ready to give up on Jerusalem even though the people had given up on God. We can only imagine what a difficult task lay ahead for Ezekiel. And yet, when he was filled with God’s spirit and ate the scroll containing the words of lamentation and woe, it tasted as sweet as honey — he was ready.
God gave Ezekiel what he needed to speak words that no one wanted to hear. How often do we hear words of warning and yet, refuse to listen? We may lash out in anger at the messenger. Is there someone in your life right now warning you that you are headed in the wrong direction? Or have you been called to speak out against something that is unjust? Are you fighting for the rights of others and challenging powerful systems that keep men, women and children from reaching their full potential? Whatever the situation, remember that there are some words that are hard to hear. When we speak the truth in love, others may lash out in fear. It was true in Ezekiel’s day and it is true in ours.
Prayer: Holy God, give us the courage to follow your call and speak your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].