Breathing is powerful. Since it is an involuntary function, we don’t think much about it until we are underwater, in a place with an unbearable odor, or in a dusty environment; then we realize how important breathing is.
When we don’t breathe in, we suffocate. If we breathe in too much, we hyperventilate. The rhythm and balance of breathing, in and out, renews every moment of our lives.
God creates with breath: “When you send forth your spirit (or breath), they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.” This psalm reminds us how God withholds and releases resources as part of life in God’s creation. The same is true for ministry; the rhythm and balance of receiving and giving, holding on and letting go, helps us be good stewards of what God has given us through breath.
Every breath in is an opportunity for God’s Spirit to enter our lives. Every breath out is an occasion for us to act according to God’s life-giving way. Try the following breathing meditations:
Breathe slowly and mindfully, in and out, deep and slow, while saying, When you send forth your breath, I am recreated; and you renew me.
On the next slow and mindful breath, say, When you send forth your breath, my community is recreated; and you renew us.
Finally breathe slowly and mindfully and say, When you send forth your breath, the earth is recreated; and you renew the earth.
O God of Creation, breathe through us and help us, as we breathe in, to receive and accept your reality and your trust in us to be cocreators with you. Help us, as we breathe out, to exercise the power you have given to us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. (See Micah 6:8.) Amen.
Many contemporary Christians wrestle with the theology of the Holy Spirit. Some are perceived as emphasizing the Spirit too much, while others talk about the Spirit only vaguely or even not at all. Both extremes can mislead us. The Spirit is powerful and active, and we understand the role of the Spirit within larger truths about God and God’s activities in the world. God empowers the disciples on Pentecost by the Spirit, and the psalmist emphasizes the role of the Spirit in creation. Paul tells the Corinthians that the Spirit enables us to recognize Jesus as Lord and serve one another. Jesus gives the power of the Spirit to his disciples. May we also seek God’s help in receiving the power of the Spirit to serve and reach those far from God.
Read Acts 2:1-21. What moments from your lifetime might you consider Pentecost moments? How have you seen the Spirit empowering God’s people in these moments or movements?
Read Psalm 104:24-34, 35b. When have you experienced God’s rhythm of withholding and releasing? How can your breath remind you of your place in this rhythm of creation?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13. How does your faith guide you to a tension between sameness and difference that might help you create a diverse unity among your family or faith community?
Read John 20:19-23. How does your relationship with Christ help you break through fear?
Responda publicando una oración.