We are remarkably okay with playing God. In the sermon, I reflect a recent article that highlighted the frankly scandalous statements and conduct of those who are more concerned with the well-being of the economy (read 'profits and wealth') than with the health and well-being of society, and really for no intelligent reasoning.
The power of death shapes us more than we would like to admit. On the other hand, the power of faith often begs for a witness.
Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones speaks to God's people enslaved in exile in Babylon; the prophet himself is in Babylon. As a vision, it is metaphorical, portraying the condition of God's people in their harsh new reality as a conquered and subjected people. The witness of faith in the vision is for God;s people to know God's power to bring new life where it would never be expected.
John 11 is similar, but it focuses on Jesus and his ministry to bring hope and new life in the Kingdom. His friend Lazarus is dying, but he does not go to him. When he has died, then Jesus decides to go there. Lazarus's sisters Martha and Mary reflect the power of death, each moaning, "Lord, if you had been here."
Jesus shows the power of God in faith by calling Lazarus out of the tomb and commanding that the bindings of death be removed so that he can be freed from death's power and given new life.
Get the whole story of the power of faith over the specter of death in the sermon video below.