"Jesus breathed on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit"
New Years Day is traditionally a day for getting sentimental over the year past, trying to burn as many holiday calories as possible, and setting New Year's resolutions. Statistics show that we are not nearly as good at sticking with those resolutions as we are at setting them. As we begin to journey together as a church family this New Year, I offer a suggestion for one resolution that is simple and potentially life changing. In my opinion the trouble with resolutions is they fail to keep up with the live time situations we find ourselves in. Resolutions don't help to set us straight and strengthen us through the challenges and turns in the road. We need something more adaptable, more constant, more nimble!
That's why this year, I invite you to try something different, this year, resolve to Breathe. That may sound a bit silly but let me explain.
Breathing is something we do automatically every moment of the day. There is in our breath something powerful that we often over look. Scripture teaches us that breath is what connects us to God. In Genesis, human life begins when God comes down into the garden and breathes the breath of life into Adam's lungs. This divine breath sets Adams life into motion and with each breath he takes, Adam is invited to maintain the connection with the divine. Biblically, breath and Spirit are closely linked. In Hebrews, the God's Holy Spirit is often referred to as the Breath of God.
When Jesus appeared to his friends after the resurrection he breathed on them the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit breath is what Jesus promised to leave with his followers to assure them of God's loving presence and to teach them the way until he returns.
This New Years, Resolve to Breathe! Not just automatically but intentionally. Each morning when you wake up and take your first morning breaths, Breathe deep and invite the Holy Spirit of God to guide you through the day.
Then, as you journey through the adventure that is each day, keep on breathing in every situation. Much of what we do each day is a response to what's happening around us. Many of us respond or reach before breathing. We may give the excuse that "it's just the way I am." But truth be told we can live a better, more Christ like life, if we resolve to breathe.
Breathe in and invite God's wisdom Spirit to guide your response, to make what you say or do reflect the love for God in your heart.
Breathe out all the fear, anxiety, worry, selfishness, pride and ego that otherwise would have driven your response.
In many circumstances it may take more than one breath to invite God's calming presence and wise council to overpower the anxiety or pride flaming up but with a few breaths, in a few seconds, God is able to guide our actions.
I believe God is eager to fill us with his guiding Spirit, let's remember to Breathe and embrace each day as an opportunity for God to lead us!
Pastor Scott and I pray that God will bless you and guide you each day of the New Year. We are excited to see what God will do in and through us in 2014!