Difficult times not only try a person's soul but frequently force a person to step up to a new challenge. Perhaps this has been your experience: You are at a crossroad unsure of which direction to head, so you venture out blazing a new path. Later, when you look back you realize that particular experience was a turning point in your life. There may even be times when something unexpected happens that thrusts you in some new uncharted course. The people living in Ezekiel's day were living in exile, taken against their will living in a foreign land, Babylon.
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (v. 52b)
Good morning whoever is out there.
I hope you boys and girls are here this morning. Since I can't see you, let me know if you are actually present. (have the children touch and/or speak and/or sing) (Humor works, like have the children repeat something silly like, “Good morning fantastic, awesome, most highest lord pastor/teacher”)
I remember going to a Lent group years ago, where the priest gave all us lay folk a piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write down what we knew about Jesus. He didn't want us to write down what we'd been told about Jesus or read about Jesus, but simply what we knew for ourselves from our own experience.
I ended up with a blank sheet of paper, but one person wrote, "I know that Jesus saves me." That led onto an interesting discussion along the lines of: saves you from something? Or for something?