This week at The Net we started a new sermon series called “Elemental: Experiencing God’s Energy.” That statement, the whole “experiencing God’s energy” bit should be worry enough for those who are carefully listening. What an audacious statement! What would it really mean for us to truly experience God’s energy in our lives? This is the same energy that raised dead people, healed sick, created earthquakes to free prisoners, parted seas, gave power to countless saints in countless perilous situations. Not to mention, this is the energy that created you, me and the whole world!
What would happen if we really experienced God’s energy in our lives?
Sometimes when I think of a relationship with God, I think of Ellen DeGeneres’ first big stand up routine where she pretends to call up God to ask him some questions. I imagine many of us wish it were that easy to talk to God, simply pick up the phone and be connected right away.
The core of this new series, “Elemental,” is all about connecting to God. I think the 4 “elements” (the primitive philosophical understanding that the world consists of Air, Earth, Water and Fire) are a great reminder that God is all around us, and is as desperate to connect with us as we are to God.
Think about “Air” for a second. Think about your breath. Maybe it is labored, maybe it flows easily. Take a deep breath. Seriously. Right now. Breathe in… now exhale. Do it again. Maybe once more for good measure.
Did you feel that? Scientists (click here for a “sciencey” article about it) have discovered that deep breaths like what I hope you just took actually increase presence, reduce anxiety, fill us with oxygen that makes us calmer almost immediately. I wonder if what is really happening when we breathe like this is that science is just catching up to something God has purposed all along.
God put “air” in us (Genesis 2:7), and I think it wasn’t just as a way to function. I wonder if the very air we breathe is God’s connecting presence flowing in us and through us. I wonder if when we take those deep breaths, we aren’t really feeling the very real and very present energy of God in our lives. And if that’s the case, what can stop us? If God is literally flowing through us with every breath we take, what can hold us back? Why can’t we be part of God’s work helping the poor, releasing the imprisoned, restoring sight to the blind and liberating the oppressed — even us (Luke 4:18-19)?
We may not be able to call God up on our cell phones (sorry, Ellen), but with every breath we take we can breathe God into us. With every breath we exhale we can be part of the redeeming and grace-filled love of God here and now, a very real and very present God.
So take a deep breath. Breathe in the life-giving, life-changing love of God deep into you today.
P.S. If you ever want to watch the whole sermon (these posts are a reflection on what was preached the day before), click here.
Grace & Peace, Pastor Cole