Thought for the Week: Breathe
As we know by now the Coronavirus attacks the lungs and, even in ‘mild’ cases, can make it difficult to breathe. If you’ve ever had a chest infection or a bad cold then you might remember something of what this feels like. It sounds quite frightening in the reports I’ve read. It reminded me of a spate of bad chest infections and asthma I had as a teenager.
I sincerely hope and pray that we are beginning to see Covid19 become less prevalent in our communities and our risk of catching it is starting to drop. The fear of catching it though is very real. One of the consequences of fear is that our breathing becomes more shallow. Our body gets ready for fight or flight and we breath more quickly. Parts of our brain then begin to shut off and we become more like our animal, instinctive selves in order to deal with a threat to our survival. The problem with a longer term threat, like the fear of a virus as opposed to an attack by a wild animal, means that we can keep breathing in a shallow and anxious way, our bodies stay in a constant state of readiness and our brains are unable to process our fear.
At Pentecost we read about the breath of God’s Spirit. In John’s Gospel Jesus is said to literally breathe the Spirit into his disciples. Breath is a sign of life in the Old Testament and having God’s breath within us a sign of our being children of God, created and loved by him. Deep breathing (from the diaphragm) is one way of reducing anxiety and stress, allowing the body to relax, the mind still. It helps us focus on the present and rationalise the threats we worry about and the risks we face. There are mindfulness Apps like Headspace that can help us to learn and relearn good breathing. It may help this Pentecost Season too if we ask in prayer for a sense of God’s breath flowing in and out of us, protecting, healing, bringing light and life.
Revd Canon Rachel Wood
"Fill us with your Spirit"
There is still time for those of you who haven’t already done so to make a video or audio file saying “Fill us with your Spirit” for our Pentecost online service. This can be recorded in English but we’d love it if it was also recorded in another language too! The recordings can be sent to Ben via WhatsApp on 07972 717 783 or by email to email@example.com.And don’t forget to hang your doves and flames in your window. (Templates below!)
Pentecost Pub Quiz
There is to be a Pentecostal Pub Quiz via Zoom on Sunday 31st May at 8pm. Visit the Events page on our website and you can RSVP and register for this. https://www.stmarysmonkseaton.org.uk/events