Exploring Faith and Community • Macalester Plymouth United Church
August 27, 2020
Rev. Adam Blons
The Sufi poet Rumi said: “The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe before it’s gone.” Air is life, and yet the air is currently at the crossroads of our major concerns over climate change, racism, and the pandemic. COVID-19 is most easily spread via airborne droplets. This pandemic has made us very conscious of each breath we take, where it comes from, and who breathes the air we exhale. We sometimes don’t know if it is okay to breath
Meanwhile, as police pinned George Floyd to the ground by the neck he said, “I can’t breathe.” Those words resonated deeply in our community with many who feel suffocated by racist ideas and policies. Then, this week, the air is thick again with outrage, grief and protests after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. How do we make sure everyone in our community can breathe?
Often we take air for granted, as if it will always be there each time we take a breath. Maybe that is another reason why it is hard to reduce the carbon and chemicals we are putting into the air, which create climate change and threaten our planet’s future. We keep breathing, while the planet gasps and chokes. How can we protect the air so it can sustain life?
These days, air is a matter of life and death.
The prophet Ezekiel was led out to a valley of dry bones, a vast wasteland of destruction and despair he assumed was his people’s fate. God asked, “Mortal, can these bones live?” Ezekiel didn’t know how to respond. God said, “Prophesy to the bones” Ezekiel called out and the bones came together and stood up. But they were not alive. So God said, “Prophesy to the breath…breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:9) Ezekiel did as God commanded and “breath came into them, and they lived.”
Air is life.
Sunday, September 13, 2020, we begin Creation Season, four weeks of focus on our call to care for God’s creation through our personal choices and collective action. This year, our theme will be, “Breathe: That all may live!” Our focus will be on the air that lets us live and our stewardship of this important yet easily overlooked element of God’s creation.