Ezekiel is written to a people of shattered hopes who have been taken into exile to Babylon away from their beloved homeland. They are living as refugees, and yet they continue to take God for granted. Ezekiel brings a word of judgement from God against them.
In chapter 33 the book changes from judgement to hope and promise with the news of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
Ezekiel brings the good news that they shouldn’t be trusting in ‘religion’ or the temple, but in God himself. The good news is that God himself will breath new life into dead Israel – he will give them a new heart and he will be with them as their God. God doesn’t dwell in the temple, God isn’t limited to a place and a ritual, God is everywhere and he is to be worshipped and glorified in all of life.
The promises of Ezekiel are fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life, death and resurrection. Jesus is the new temple and place to meet and to know God.
Yesterday the 2021 census data revealed that for the first time less than 50% of Australians identify as Christians. Christendom (a Christian society) is long dead – but there is no need to fear or lose hope. Christendom was never (or should never have been) the aim. The aim is Christ – the aim is to preach the word of the gospel so that people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. God is with us!
Yours in Christ,
For a more thorough reflection on the declining number of Australians identifying as Christian on the census see: https://www.smh.com.au/national/not-my-tribe-australians-have-turned-their-back-on-religion-but-not-on-their-faith-20220629-p5axp2.html?fbclid=IwAR2ptKk0y6VVtZVj7CN23GgZ1vz68rEBez_b87YVs1ppRhZMAmoLeAseYeQ