Pastor Chris Wogaman
Can These Bones Live?
He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. (Ezekiel 37:3-14)
These famous, poignant words from the prophet Ezekiel have been on my heart for a while as we have been thinking about the future of Trinity Lutheran Church of Park Forest. The prophet’s words relate to ancient Israel, which has spent harsh years in bondage and the wilderness, and persevered through a lot. We know that feeling a bit, I suspect. I know I do, and I know many of you do too.
On a late July afternoon, I met with Randall White, chair of the Youth Commission of Park Forest. We had been trying to sit down to talk for literally months. And I’m so glad we finally did. I found in Randall not only a passionate advocate for youth, but a gentleman who truly listens, and truly cares for his fellow human beings, whether he agrees with them in every way or not. Randall grew up in Park Forest and has a powerful story. I encourage you to connect with him and talk to him about his life and his work with young people.
What I learned was that young people in Park Forest need us as much as we need them. Because sometimes they ask that same question: “Can these bones live?” The anxiety of youth, and the energy, is as inherent as it is contagious in people of younger years. Older people experience anxiety as well, but it is usually tempered with years of experience dealing with many trials. Youth and age both have their wisdom, and their anxiety. So often, the two never meet outside of family or perhaps church.
Randall asked what he could do to help us as a congregation. I asked him the same question, and encouraged him to call me when I could be in the community to support our youth. I can’t do it alone, however. As we continue to discern our mission, can I call on you, sometimes, to come with me when I am called? I can’t promise you that it will “bring people in,” but I can promise you that it will show that we care to people who are among those who need the caring the most.
Because when you know you’re needed, you do what you can. And God will use you in ways to advance God’s purposes that none of us could have ever anticipated.
May God bless you every day!