by pastor Jeff goodman
“The Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into his nostrils. The human came to life.” Genesis 2:7 (Common English Bible)
I forget things all of the time. Where I put my glasses, Pi past 8 digits, people’s names (except yours!). But I never forget to breathe. No matter how busy I am, how stressed I am, how distracted I am, I pretty much always breathe. I count that as a win.
It strikes me that I do forget that God breathed, that God breathed first. God’s breath brought creation – humankind anyway – to life. Likely that God-breathed life isn’t formed for living on the sofa, all Netflix and chill. Don’t get me wrong, in the time of COVID 19 I love being considered a national hero for watching TV with Pam and Lola (the Cocker Spaniel). But like most of society, I miss the physical community I share with you and everyone around us. I’m amazed by how much easier technology has made this isolation – I video chat with Pastor Ed and Pastor Teer almost every day, create and consume online worship and have instantaneous access to the latest news. Even so, I already long to return to the days when I don’t have to move six feet away from a neighbor on the sidewalk.
Last Sunday I preached on John 9, the story of Jesus healing the blind man. Drawn to a kernel in the third verse, I focused on Jesus explaining to his disciples that sin wasn’t the source of the man’s blindness, rather the blindness should be seen as an opportunity to demonstrate God’s work: “This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3, Common English Bible)
I hear a question from the passage in John: how can I – how can we – use our limitations, our fears, our pain to display God’s mighty works? How can we be the people God created us to be? This is a world, a time, that is yearning for God’s presence and we may be just the mirror that the world needs to see God’s work in each of us.
Perhaps we can take this time of isolation to focus on our breathing, to remember God’s breath. Ask yourself this question: how can I use my breath to simply be the person God created me to be? To accept the good and the bad, to accept God’s grace and hope, and to know that I share God’s breath.
Much of the current online chatter focuses on how we can be productive during isolation, on how we can use our time alone to greater advantage. Perhaps we can use this time to not only breathe but to think about our breath, to think about God’s breath. And with each breath remember that you are God’s. Forgiven, loved, cared for. Forever.
Just don’t forget to breathe.