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As the Advent season begins, remember to breathe. Remember the birth of God’s son Jesus grounds our identity in God’s grace and not in ourselves. Craig Finnestad writes a liturgy prayer “Christmas” in his book, Prayers from the Water’s Edge that says,

“You have given us your Son. You
have given us Yourself.
Emmanuel. God is with us.
When we are angry, afraid, alone
and anxious:
You are with us.
When we celebrate, are courageous,
live in community and are calm:
You are with us.
Let this Christmas be our yearly
reminder of Your grace.”

I love that! Let this Christmas be our reminder of God’s grace. In all of our running around, piles of presents, family gatherings, food and children’s plays, may we be reminded of God’s grace. Even in our brokenness, and the world’s brokenness, may we be reminded of God’s grace.

When I lose sight of God’s grace, it’s a sign that I need to breathe. When I feel the emptiness in my soul, it’s a sign that I need to breathe.

In the old hymn, “Breathe on Me O Breath of God,” verse one reads, “Fill me with life anew that I may love what Thou dost love and do what Thou wouldst do.”

This season, I invite you to breathe. Breathe in the breath of God and experience God’s grace. I encourage you to receive this gift of wonderful grace, and let it fulfill your life. We serve a God who wants us to have life, not death; a life abundant, not a life broken!

John’s Gospel (my favorite gospel) reads in chapter 1 verse 14,“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

In John 1:16, “We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.”

God is the ultimate gift-giver. Breathe on me o breath of life.

May it be so in our lives this Advent and Christmas Season.

Thank you all for all that you do to advance God’s kingdom on Earth. May each of us breathe in the ultimate life-giver – Jesus Christ. God gave birth to his son so he could move right into our neighborhoods and be with us.

Let me finish with a verse from the Christmas song, “Away in a Manger.”

“Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to
stay. Close by me forever and love
me, I pray. Bless all the dear children
in thy tender care;
And fit us for heaven to live with
thee there.”