Welcome to the season of Lent, a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the resurrection of Jesus. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Lent has always been my favorite season of the liturgical year because of a few things: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the space to pause and reflect. I need this reminder daily because sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the daily routine that I miss what God is trying to say and do in my life. Lent for me is a time to truly stop, breathe and truly face the truth of where I am at. If there is one word that can summarize this lenten season for me, it will be “breathe”.
I encourage you right now, at this moment to take a deep breath in and take a deep breath out. Do that three times, right now with your eyes closed…As you open your eyes, how does your body feel? Notice it, acknowledge and just sit with where you are, right now. It is crazy to me how with a few deep breaths, my body is calmer, stress comes down and I am here in the present, right now. Breathing should be natural for us but sometimes unconsciously, we can forget to just pause and breathe. When working out and lifting weights, they always tell you to breathe. In panic attacks, what is the key thing they tell you to do? Breathe! At church to get ourselves centered for worship, what do we do? Breathe!
So why do I bring this, I am reminded of two scriptures: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”-Job 33:4 (ESV) and “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”-John 20:22 (ESV). God breathed the Spirit into us and everytime we breathe, it is a reminder that God is with us. As we continue to move in our lives, I encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe; let it be a reminder for us to slow down and be in the present moment. Let it also be a reminder that since the Spirit of God has been breathed into us, that means that God is present with us.
Let’s Get It!
Pastor Isiah C. Dennis