Redeeming Halloween: Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones! by Susie

There are 12 boys on our block. Count them  – TWELVE!!!  It is such a delight to watch them running around, scooting along, riding bikes, climbing the tree in our yard, and generally being boys.  Not surprisingly, when one boy comes up with an idea, it spreads like wildfire to the others, just like it did last year when one boy decided he was going to be a skeleton for Halloween.  Next thing I knew, everyone wanted to be a skeleton, including my oldest.

If you read my latest post, you’ll remember that we had started a family tradition of turning October into a month of extra focussed, extra intentional, home devotional time that used the Halloween costume of choice into a theme for some extra special family fun.   The Noble Knight gave me SO much material to work with.  Click HERE to read all about it.   What on earth was I going to do with a SKELETON theme?  No begging or bribing on my part was going to change my son’s mind.  SKELETON it was to be!

Defeated, I plopped on the couch. Skeleton? Really? Lord? How on earth am I going to teach the truths of your love and grace and mercy to my two boys using a skeleton theme?  I expressed my dismay to my hubby and in about 2 minutes flat he turned to me and said “Valley of the Dry Bones from Ezekiel?”  Jackpot!  Thank you Lord for speaking through my hubby!

I acknowledge that Ezekiel 37 and the story of the Valley of the Dry Bones may not be a story that is taught much in Sunday School lessons!  In fact, a quick google search on “Sunday school lessons and Ezekiel 37 ” came up pretty empty.  Honestly, I’d hazard a guess that many of you are scratching your heads right now, wondering what this bizarre Biblical reference is anyway!!   But if you’ve ever sung the song, “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones!”  You’ve sung this scripture!  You know how it goes!  Do the actions with me!  “The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone, so hear the word of the Lord!”  Speaking of the Word of the Lord, Here it is:

Ezekiel 37      The Valley of Dry Bones

1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

Read the rest of the Scripture passage HERE

This scripture passage has always held a special place in my heart because I live in a valley – a beautiful valley full of people who need to hear the gospel of love .  I  long and pray for the Lord to breathe His LIFE into the lives of the people who live here, and that they would know HE is the LORD.  Oh what a perfect opportunity to remind my boys that only God’s breath gives life to our bodies of  bones, tendons and skin.  And only through Jesus can we change from being spiritually dead in our sins, to having new, holy lives that last forever and into an eternity with Him.

So here is a quick run down of the fun we had!  Ready?  Let’s Go!

1) If you followed Kellye last summer during her amazing Alphabet Adventure, you will be familiar with these great magnet pages available at  How do we see our amazing bones?  X-rays of course.  As a radiation physicist, I was REALLY tempted to go into the physics behind x-rays but decided to wait until they were just a teensy bit older 😉

2)  We had so much fun making skeletons out of pasta! Enchanted Learning provided  the inspiration!  You know what I loved about this?  Jake simply glued his pasta pieces all over his page, unable at his young age to really make a skeleton out of it.  To me, it looks just like the Valley of Dry Bones.  Dry bones, lying scattered about.  But Owen managed to copy the pattern and make the skeleton – It looks just like when God told Ezekiel to prophesy and then God caused the bones to come together and form the new body that he would breathe life into.  Love, love, love how things work out in a way I never even thought of doing on purpose!

3) There are all sorts of great books about our amazing bodies.  Head to your local library and spend time in awe of  God’s amazing creation – the human body!

4) Get up and dance with your kids!  Find a version of “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones” and sing along and do the actions with them!  They’ll LOVE it! Seriously, you don’t even need the song to sing with – just do it a capella!

5) This was absolutely the best part.  By some miracle ( again – I didn’t plan this, the Lord just paved the way for this without me even knowing!)  I found on clearance for $1 a set of skull cards.  Yup! BEFORE we ever started the Skeleton thing.  Have no idea why I picked them up! Well, I guess I do now right?  We cut them in half.  We glued the white skulls onto a large black piece of poster board.  Then we took the back half of the cards, and drew faces of people on them.  We glued the happy, living faces on a blue poster board with green grass thrown on for good measure.  As the boys looked at the skull poster, we talked about being dead in our sin and needing Jesus to rescue us from death.  Then we looked at what happens when we accept God’s grace and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross – new lives that are full of joy!  We cut out a cross and glued it in the middle of the two posters as a way to demonstrate the cross as the bridge from death to new life in Christ.  Don’t you just love the look of “Oh” on Owen’s face?  I love those Aha moments!

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Finally, this is just for you parent.  I’ve always loved the song “Valley of Dry Bones” by Michael Card.  I found this YouTube version of it.  His awesome song put to a slideshow.

May you be reminded, every time you see a Skeleton this Halloween, of God’s great love and mercy.  The God that breathes life into our bodies of mere bones, tendons, and skin, is the same God who loved you enough to send his only Son to rescue you from the grave and give you new life in Christ!

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  1. […] Click Here to read about using SKELETONS to teach about God’s Grace and mercy {oddly, one of … […]

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