Ezekiel

Comment: 

Ezekiel is a complex and confusing book of prophecy that is something like a pointillist painting. A lot of tiny ‘dots’—details and images—are assembled to create and express a larger message. It’s easy to become distracted by the individual dots and lose sight of the overall picture. 
Ezekiel was a priest from Jerusalem writing in Babylon, where he had been taken into exile, in the sixth century BCE. Jerusalem had fallen, the Kingdom of David was no more, and Jews were left wondering what had happened to their belief in themselves as a people favored by God. The early chapters of Ezekiel offer an explanation of what happened, and what can be expected next. 
The imagery of Chapter 1 is both vivid and conventional. It describes the throne of God as still being located in (over, really) Jerusalem. (The ‘great cloud’ comes ‘out of the north,’ which is where Jerusalem was relative to Babylon.) The throne is on a platform, guarded by four creatures—described as ‘cherubim’ in Chapter 10—“of human form” (1:5) but with two sets of wings each, and four faces—human, lion, ox, and eagle. Each creature is responsible for one of four wheels that allow the platform to move. “When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose” (1:19). The details and overall effect are very similar to other prophetic books in the Bible, including Isaiah, Daniel, and the Revelation to John.
Metaphysically, these creatures express the reality of God in both spiritual and physical form. And the wheels express the prophet’s message that God can be wherever God’s essence expresses. God is not permanently located in the Temple in Jerusalem—and thus now lost to the exiles in Babylon. God expresses through all aspects of creation—especially as the Christ, the Lord of our individual being, “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (1:28). 
And so while details may be unclear, the message is entirely relevant for us today. The Power we call God is not a distant, unattainable entity. It is present where we are, in the midst of our sense of confusion and separation. It is through our unique ability to express both spiritual and mortal energies that we can bring the Allness of God into our sense of exile, and continue to experience and express that divine Light and Love in our lives.
Blessings!
Rev. Ed