Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission
Lectionary Reflection
Year A, Easter 7, Old Testament Lesson

Ezekiel 39:21-29

Thus says the Lord GOD: I will display my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt treacherously with me. So I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them.

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to make them afraid, when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have displayed my holiness in the sight of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them behind; and I will never again hide my face from them, when I pour out my spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 39:21-29
by John Gibbs, Ph D

“Becoming People Who Are Safe for the World” (Witnessing to God’s Rule in the World)

This section concludes the Gog and Magog oracles (Ezekiel 38-39). It envisions victory over oppression, and the restoration of People Jacob and People Israel.

In Ezekiel’s prophetic vision God says: “I will leave none of them behind” (v. 28). God will bring all these people back into their homeland, and then “they [will] live securely in their land with no one to make them afraid” (v. 26). That restoration “displays” both the “glory” and the “holiness” of God (vv. 21, 27).

God’s “mercy” (v. 25) embraces not simply individuals but the corporate entities within which they live and die (“the whole house of Israel”). Jacob and Israel are corporate personalities, and no longer only individuals. God’s “judgment” (v. 21) requires that the order that God brought to the creation will be sustained in “secure” human community.

To Reflections on other Readings for this Sunday:
Old Testament
Ezekiel 39:21-29
this page
Psalm 68 or
Psalm  47
New Testament
1 Peter 4:12-19 or 
Acts 1:(1-7)8-14
John 17:1-11

John Gibbs, a retired theologian, attends Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Rapids, MN.   He originally wrote this reflection in 2002.  He and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the web site.

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