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“Breath” - June 17, 2020

 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!”                Ezekiel 37:5

Recently I was reminded of a simple exercise that is commonly suggested in many different contexts.  It simply involves taking a deep breath in – slowly, and then letting it out, also slowly.  If you can, you might want to try it right now for a moment.  Inhale deeply and slowly; exhale slowly. 

Not only is this exercise considered to be calming it is also one that allows us truly to notice our own breath, to be especially aware of our breathing and thereby realize that our very lives depend on this simple continuous movement of air.  It is a reminder of our fragility.  People who have experienced shortness of breath know this fragility better than most but living through Covid-19 has made all of us more mindful of something as simple as breathing.

The Bible frequently mentions breath and particularly identifies God as the source of that breath.  If we take time to slow down enough to notice our breath, inhaling and exhaling we can remember that truth: it is God who gives us our breath.  It is God who ultimately holds our futures in his hands. 

Throughout our lives and even in this time of Covid-19, we may trust the Risen Jesus with our futures and with our breath.  John 20:22 describes Jesus giving new life to his disciples through the Holy Spirit when “he breathed on them” soon after his resurrection.  Jesus releases his followers to share in the joy of the gospel and new kingdom living. 

Grateful for both our both our breath and our new life in Christ, we may look beyond our challenges and take to heart the words of the poet, “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6)

 PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: O God, help us to take none of your gifts for granted.  We thank you for the breath to live that you give us each day.  Make us mindful of the new life you have breathed into us through our Risen Lord Jesus Christ by your Holy Spirit.  Encourage us as we join with all creation in using our breath to praise you for your love and goodness. In the name of Jesus, AMEN

Links to 'Great Are You Lord', by “All Sons & Daughters”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHz0w-HG4iU

AND to a version to sing along to of 'Breathe on Me, Breath of God'  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro9EJqBMDWw