Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Breath of God

These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
Ps 104:27-30 

I'm told the universe is expanding, and that at some point in the far distant future it will begin to contract. I can't help but think of the breath of God giving life to all that is, and that breath then being withdrawn. Inhale. Exhale. I imagine that the cycle repeats over and over throughout an eternity of time: the breath of a benevolent, unsleeping God, birthing the stars around which worlds develop, fertile and life-giving—each cycle lasting untold millions of years. And yet this eternity is but the blink of an eye to its Creator, for time, too, is a creature of God—yet another side of God's providence.

This gives new meaning to the psalm which refers to part of God's creation as but a breath. God's breathing gives us life, and we are both part of God and distinct from God, for we come from the Infinite, and it is to Infinity that we will one day return.

Send forth your Spirit, God. Renew me, and let me not be dismayed. For even when your hand gathers me up, I will exist forever within you, through Jesus Christ my Lord, who taught me to pray...