Today’s Word from Deacon Amy

Back in March, Laura Canby asked for people to submit photos of themselves with caring, inspiring, or hope-filled messages. My daughter, Ava, created a beautiful poster with the word “breathe” featured in a peaceful landscape. This poster is now mounted on the wall in my office, directly across from my desk. It is there as a poignant reminder for me to pause and breathe.

Our breath is an intimate connection to the Divine. In Genesis we read that after God created the first human, God “breathed into his nostrils the gift of life.” It was God’s very breath that brought human life into existence. God’s breath fills our lungs and sends oxygen coursing through our bodies, supplying us with the gift of life. Around 20,000 times each day, we expand our lungs and fill our bodies with the life-sustaining breath of God.

We are reminded that the Hebrew word “Ruach,” used in the Old Testament, means both breath and spirit. God’s very Spirit moved into us with that very first breath of human life.

We hear again of this Spirit-filled breath following Jesus’ resurrection, when he came to his disciples in a locked room and greeted them with a message of peace. “When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” John 20:22. Again, it was the Holy Breath that moved new life into the disciples. This was Jesus’ reminder that the Holy Spirit was with them, carrying them into their new life, and new calling.

The poster on my wall reminds me to be intentional about my breath. It reminds me to be still and focus on the sustaining breath of God that fills my body with the gift of life. The peace of the Holy Spirit brings a calm and stillness to my busy mind with each deliberate breath.

Take time each day to focus on your breath. Be still, close your eyes, and pay attention to the breath of the Holy Spirit filling your lungs and your body with life and peace. Breathe in the tranquility and power of the Spirit. Breathe out the stress and worry of this time. God is still with us, still breathing renewed life into us, each and every day. Twenty thousand times each day, in fact.

Keep breathing friends. Keep feeling the gift of life and the peace of the Holy Spirit.

Deacon Amy