By Scott Murphy, First Presidency
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. -Psalm 100 NRSV
Breath-what an amazing thing! It is one of those natural elements of life we can so easily forget about until breath begins to leave.
I’ve been working to be more mindful of breathing. When I’m mindful of my breathing, I recognize how shallow it can be at times. I’m not sure why I don’t breathe more deeply all the time. When I do, I can actually feel a change in my body. Something about breathing deeply fills my body, mind, and spirit with a source that sustains life. And when life is nourished, life can experience peace.
During this Easter season, I’m reminded of how important breath and breathing are to our souls and to the peace we all seek in the midst of the difficult questions and struggles of life.
In the Resurrection story of Jesus, the Gospel of John offers a glimpse of those first disciples who were locked away in a room, filled with an overabundance of fear, anxiety, grief, and hopelessness. In their suffering, I’m sure no deep breathing was taking place. Every breath must have been filled with an aching sadness. But when the resurrected Jesus stood before them, alive and well, he offered their souls, starving from the absence of peace, an amazing gift. He simply said, “Peace be with you,” then breathed on them.
Breath-Holy breath-was the first gift the Risen Jesus gave his disciples. And when they breathed in that Holy breath, it was saturated with a peace beyond comprehension. Life was never the same again.
To be a people of the Resurrection means we live with that Holy breath within us. Christ continues to breathe upon us a source of new life. And in that breath we can experience profound hope and peace, even when life is filled with difficult questions or struggles.
Today, I encourage you to breathe-breathe deeply-and be amazed at the source of life and peace that Christ offers you in this new day.
Spirit, now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
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.