[Meditation drawing on readings from Genesis 1:1-5, and Isaiah 40:1-5]
Just as God began the forming work of creation by breathing over the chaos of the waters, so we begin the forming work of our meditation with our breath.
Breathe in slowly. Hold. Then breathe out.
Breathe. Be Still. Breathe out.
As you pull the air in, receive it as a gift.
As you let it out, allow it to pull away whatever thoughts, or tensions, or discomfort could distract you.
Breathe slowly, and deeply, finding your own rhythm.
Take this time to center yourself in this moment. Let your breath guide you into this sacred time to connect with God.
As you continue to breathe with intention, let the images of the story of Creation wash across your consciousness.
Remember that the story begins with chaos and with darkness, and that God is present in both.
The wind of God’s Spirit swirls through the chaos and sweeps over the face of the dark waters. Neither are a source of fear for God.
Allow this same breath of God to hold you secure as you consider whatever chaos or darkness exists in your life.
Are there forces that are pulling or pushing you in directions you are afraid to venture?
Are there uncertainties that worry you or tempt you to try to turn on the light so that you can be sure of what you see?
In the midst of all that you cannot control or see, lean into the wind of God’s Spirit.
Feel its strength to support the weight of your anxieties.
Hear its voice speak with authority in the darkness: “Let there be light.”
And there is light. But there is also still darkness. God’s Spirit gives order to creation, but it does not eliminate the dark. For the darkness has its place.
In the darkness there is space to rest, and to admit our unknowing, and to just breathe.
We do not need to be able to see everything when we trust the Spirit of God that breathes in us.
And when we learn to trust that breath in the darkness, we can also trust it in the wilderness.
Whatever pain, or fear, or loneliness, or threat that populates your personal wilderness, that is not the only thing you will find there. For the wind of God’s Spirit breathes there too.
The same Spirit that hovered over the waters of creation also spoke through the prophets about revealing the glory of God in the wilderness.
It spoke words of comfort after pain.
It spoke words of guidance after wandering.
It called for a way to be prepared in the wilderness.
A way that reverses the high places of strength and the low places of vulnerability.
A way that makes uneven ground level and rough places plain.
A way that lets all flesh together see God’s presence.
Listen for that same voice in the wilderness places of your life.
Do you struggle to find hope where you have known only despair?
Have you stopped looking for a way forward because the barriers loom around you?
In the midst of the desolate places in your life, listen for the voice of God’s Spirit declaring hope and a way.
Lean into the comfort of God’s promise.
Refocus your eyes to see the path that God is smoothing before your feet.
Or notice the stones that God is calling you to move, to be part of the preparation for God’s Holy Disruption.
And with this new awareness of the power and promise of the breath of God’s Spirit, return to your own breath.
Feel the constancy of its rhythm, in and out; in and out.
Recognize the gift of this grounding cycle.
Always there. Always connecting you to the world around you in the repeated exchange of receiving and giving.
And always there to remind you of God’s life-giving, sustaining, revealing Breathe.
Thanks be to God.