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
Jesus comes in and breathes on them
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
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