"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Valley of Bones
Ezekiel 37:1-14 Commentary
by Corrine Carvalho
War scars the mind as much as the body.
Horrifying images are burned into the collective memory. Civil War artist Alfred Waud, a journalist for Harper’s Weekly, sketched soldiers clearing a battlefield of the corpses of their comrades.
The smoke billowing in the background marks the pile of equine corpses that had to be burned. Assyrians artists carved battle scenes onto massive stone reliefs, where severed heads signified their power over their enemies.
The Book of Ezekiel is set against a similar backdrop. The book centers on the oracles of a former priest of Jerusalem who has been exiled to Babylon. His oracles, which are dated, span the years leading up to and immediately following Babylon’s utter destruction of Ezekiel’s former city. The language of the book bears the scars of such a collective trauma.
The book’s poems are verbal icons, using graphic verbal images to paint vibrant pictures. From the opening vision of God on a chariot throne to the final description of a city ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 103: Valley of Bones
December 08, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Dec. 8, 2013: Ezekiel 37:1-14 (corresponding Gospel: John 11:25-26).