Sunday Message 04 19 20 Breath and peace

So… Jesus, Breathes on his disciples… 

C’mon man, not cool, not cool! 

Jesus is not following current sanitation regulations… 

That’s for sure! 


Although earlier he did spit in the dirt 

and made mud that gave a blind man his eyesight back… 

So, his breath would probably be the antidote to the virus! 


Jesus comes proclaiming peace in the midst of fear 

And breathing his spirit on them 

(The Holy Spirit) 


The fear is setting off endorphins in the body 

Fight or flight mode 

But we need to calm things down!  


In order to respond with peace 

To the fear coming in 


Breathing is an integral part of that response 

The disciples were cramped up with the doors locked 

In fear 

Jesus comes in and breathes on them 

Bringing calmness 

Taking away the fear and the anger 


I learned recently about a man named 

Stig Severinsen from Denmark 

He holds a number of World records 

when it comes to breathing 

Held his breath for 22 minutes in 2012 

Which I just found out also was broken in 2016 

by Aleix Segura from Spain!  24 minutes!  Incredible! 


Without breathing Stig says, we don’t have life! 

One method he says 

is to breathe out for double what you inhale 

Let’s try that right now all together 

You are going to inhale through your nose 

And then exhale either from nose or mouth 

for double the time 

Pause at the top for 1 or two seconds and then exhale out 

Lower shoulders, relax the face especially jaw 

Breathe into the stomach area 

Which is exactly what Chris 

was explaining to me about singing 

So, there are corollaries to singing as well!  

In fact, they mentioned when you sing, 

you automatically go into this type of breathing pattern 

Okay let’s try it out… 


Practices like this can be important for us 

They teach us that we are meant to have balance 

We must have action but we need rest… 


There are two main parts to the nervous system: 

sympathetic: fight or flight, 

parasympathetic: relaxation, rest and digest mode 


These days we are so hyped up all the time 

For instance: technology has benefits but also risks 

Can be very addictive 

And thinking about watching the news 

worrying about the coronavirus 

Can make this cycle even worse for us 


Constantly putting us on active fear alert 

Pumping adrenaline through us when it is not healthy 

constant adrenaline in the body develops into disease and sickness over time.  

Mental stresses are still real and physical in the body 

The rest and digest system is shut off when the fight or flight system is turned on. 

The body does not then direct attention to the immune system or rebuilding muscle tissue 


Stig teaches that the Vega nerve is very important to us 

It starts in the brain and goes down 

through the heart and the lungs 

And into the lower organs as well 


When we focus on our breath, holding and exhaling 

We tap into this nerve which can calm us down 

Lower our heart rate and blood pressure 


So, there are physical benefits to just simply breathing 

It is part of how are bodies are made 

And Jesus knows this, taps into this, 

in fact its tradition goes back into the Old Testament 

and even other ancient traditions around the world 


Jesus even goes deeper 

Peace that comes from faith in Christ and the resurrection 


We are talking about a deep abiding trust 

In Christ 

Who is goodness and mercy and love 


Trusting that life is actually beyond what I can imagine it 

That this is but one aspect of life 

I don’t have to hold onto it so tight anymore 

Because I know it is not the end 


Faith in Christ 

Means believing God is love 

And God is calling you to abide in that love 

And to share that love with others 


In means accepting God’s forgiveness for evil in your life 

Seeking to repent, and turn things around 

Following after Christ’s example 

Admitting our wrongs and working to right them 

And forgiving others with that same mercy and love 


We can live in a state of forgiveness and mercy 

Of listening and caring for others without partiality 

Or we can hold onto vengeance and hatred and fear. 


That is what we are sent out to do in the world 

No matter the circumstances. 

Trusting God in Jesus Christ 

Means putting our peace in something 

beyond our current circumstances 

Allowing us to not be swayed by every passing wind 

Because we have the Holy Wind 

giving us a positive energy in life 


Not that we will not be tested or feel we have lost our faith 

Or feel that forsakenness that Jesus felt on the cross. 

But those are not the base of who we are 

That goes even deeper 

Putting God at the center! 


God, love, mercy, compassion, Goodness, 

these make up the base 

And love casts our fear.    

So, we can finally breathe, at peace. 


The practices of breathing can augment that spirituality 


Once we have that peace 

we can respond in joy throughout our days 

Joy for the life we have and the world around us 

As it says in the Scripture the disciples 

Rejoiced to see the Lord! 

They had peace because of the resurrection! 

They rejoiced to have that peace! 

And I can tell you what, when we have that peace 

And that joy 

We won’t let anything take it away!


(Listen to "Old Church Choir" by Zach Williams