Theology in a New Key: “Come Alive (Dry Bones)”

“Through the eyes of men it seems there’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road where all the prodigals have walked
One by one the Enemy has whispered lies
And led them off as slaves”

It is so hard to be committed to the gospel sometimes. Every day, we watch relatives, friends, coworkers, fellow students, people we know at church, or even perfect strangers turn their backs on the Christian faith. The pain of living or the desire for something that Jesus refuses to provide convinces them that they are better off on their own than they are in the arms of the One who created them.

It is here—in the midst of our desperation and our despair—that we meet Lauren Daigle. Her song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” is a breath of fresh air for those who feel suffocated by the sin and secularism that threatens to swallow Western civilization whole.

Though she may not claim to be a prophet, Daigle stands in that grand tradition. She appropriates the images and themes of Ezekiel 37:1-14 to magnificent effect, calling the church to embrace its mission of bringing life where there is death.

Daigle is not naive about the task to which she calls us. After all, the Enemy has, indeed, led far too many of the human family off as his slaves. He promises them that, if they will only forsake their allegiance to the one true God and give themselves over to the pursuit of wealth, power, sex, vengeance, etc., they will find what they are really looking for. They will be happy, and all will be well without the pesky demands of a petty God.

But Daigle is also confident in the God we serve. She writes:

“But we know that you are God, Yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith you’ve given us
We’ll step into the valley unafraid”

We know that God is victorious over evil. True enough, the things that we see going on around us are bad. But we also know that much of our story (both as individuals and as the human species) has not yet been fully told. Most importantly, we know God. And so we can walk with boldness into that valley of dry bones and prophecy. We can speak words of comfort and correction, words of rest and rebuke. Why can we do this? Because we know that there is a lot that we do not know, because we know the God who has already won the victory over sin and death, and, most importantly, because we know that He is a God of inexhaustible mercy and “unrelenting love.”

Does this mean that we will, in fact, “recover every daughter” and bring back every “wayward son”? No, I am sorry to say, it does not. In fact, I know people—people whom I have loved—whom I do not think will ever return to the faith. And it breaks my heart. Does it mean that we will always be courageous? No, I am sorry to say, it does not mean that, either. I am ashamed to admit that I have run from the valley of bones like Scooby Doo running from a ghost more times than I care to remember.

But here’s what it does mean. We can encourage one another with the hope that we have in Jesus. We can call each other to greatness, reminding one another that our God reigns and that He beckons us to join Him in His work and in His love. And, we can walk with one another into that dark valley. There is nothing for us to be afraid of there. We already have the antidote for everything that Satan can throw at us. All we need is the courage to use it.

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