• Pastor Nancy Raabe

Breath


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah! (Psalm 150:6) June 9, 2020


The Book of Psalms, that endlessly stirring compendium of human experience in God's sight, concludes with these jubilant words. Breath, the source of life on earth. Breath, that person of God which swept over the face of the formless void and set the forces of life in motion. Oxygen, that chemical element which drives the metabolism of most living things. I awakened this morning with this verse sounding in my mind: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! -- and also a question: Do ants breathe? They must, these fascinating, highly social insects. But how? Ants don't have lungs because they are too small to have a respiratory system like ours. So they breathe in oxygen through a series of holes located on the sides of their bodies. These are connected through a network of tubes that distribute the oxygen to almost every cell in their body. Why are ants always scurrying? Why don't we see them resting from their labors of carrying up to 100 times their body weight? Because movement helps the oxygen to circulate through these tubes. Breath. Life. The psalms also help us see this from the opposite perspective. "Do the dead praise you? Can they declare your faithfulness?" (Psalm 88:10) The answer of course is: No. God brought all that is into being. God created each life, even each ant life, with a purpose in mind. Some of us spend our lives trying to discern that purpose--ah, if only it was as easy as "carry 20 to 100 times your body weight each day for the greater good of the colony." (Or maybe that's exactly it!) God wants us to be alive so that we can praise God with every breath. Let us dedicate our life to ensuring that others, too, may breathe just as God intended. Yours in the power of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Nancy Raabe

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