March 18

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Ezekiel 36:22-30

“You will be my people, and I will be your God.” The noted author and researcher, Dr. Brené Brown, has spent much of her research on issues of shame and belonging. As I have heard her describe belonging, she describes it as different from “fitting in.” She describes it as being loved for who you are.

Ezekiel’s prophecy, as we will see with other prophets, calls Israel back to the place of holiness and wholeness. The expectation God has of God’s people is not lessened, but Ezekiel reminds us that it is not about fitting in … it is about claiming who we are as God’s beloved children.

Ezekiel tells us that God is doing this, not for the sake of Israel, but for God’s own sake. I would argue that it is for the sake of the relationship that God has with all of creation, which only unfolds when we let God be God. In that relationship, we experience something far more than profane (ordinary), and we are found in the presence of the sacred (extraordinary). What is extraordinary about this God of ours is that we are claimed as children of God even when we don’t deserve it … even when we have profaned God among the nations … even when we have failed to experience our relationship with God as both essential and sacred.

In this Lenten journey, it is my prayer that we will experience the sacredness of God and the sacredness of relationship. We belong to God. Perhaps, with Ezekiel, we might then experience a God bent on saving us from ourselves; who then restores us to sacred community … relationship … where wholeness and holiness define us more than our brokenness.

We pray, Lord, that you will move us from the profane to the sacred, from exclusion to inclusion, from struggling to fit in to truly belonging. Bless us with sacred community with you! Amen.

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