Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Adam Wade, president of seventy
He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. -Ezekiel 37:3-5
This morning I went scuba diving. The name of the particular dive site we visited was “The White Valley,” somewhat convenient given today’s scripture in Ezekiel! There was sand for miles and miles. Unlike the vision of the prophet, my valley was covered in approximately 18 meters (50 feet) of ocean above me. The only bones scattered across this valley were fish bones.
Preparations were carefully made to ensure the equipment was all working correctly in order for us to safely breathe. A 20-minute boat ride jetted us across the smooth ocean to the place where we would roll ourselves backward into the blue depths.
As we sat on the boat, gently bobbing up and down in the swell, the instructor went through a safety briefing before we set out. As always, we were reminded of one of the most important rules of diving-the constant requirement to BREATHE. Never hold your breath. If you are moving up or down at depth underwater, holding your breath can cause your lungs to rupture. That’s not something you desire with a whole lot of ocean above you!
In that moment, I was reminded of our lives as disciples. There are times when it may feel as if the valley is dry and there is little or no hope. Perhaps we find ourselves in the depths, surrounded on all sides by water, feeling as though we are sinking. Yet…in these times, it is important to remember to BREATHE. Not a superficial breath, but that deeper inhalation that gives us a moment of calm, nourishment, and life. We breathe in God’s spirit of love and peace. We pause to remind ourselves that God journeys with us, beside us.
As you breathe, may God’s Spirit give you renewed strength, and help remind you that there is indeed hope. Breathe.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Lenten Spiritual Practices
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Fasting and Giving-$40 in 40 Days
A Lenten fast gives us an opportunity to make space in our lives so that God can live in and through us. It’s a time to evaluate what we hunger for most and what we consume. This year, we’ve been invited to tithe as a spiritual practice by setting aside $40 during the 40 days of Lent. If you are participating, pay attention today to the dollar you have given. What might you have done with that dollar otherwise? How does Lenten generosity invite you to reflect on what is “enough” in your life? Who might you invite to join you in this practice? How might your gift be magnified by the many others responding to the same call?
You can make your $40 offering anytime during the Lenten season online or through your offering envelope for Worldwide Mission Tithes.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.