This week I wanted to share a reminder to breathe in God as we enter Lent.
There was a moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what his name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name he gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.
Over time we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels.
But scholars and Rabi’s have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, or aspirated consonants. When pronounced without intervening vowels, it actually sounds like breathing.
YH (inhale): WH (exhale).
So a baby’s first cry, his first breath, speaks the name of God.
A deep sigh calls His name – or a groan or gasp that is too heavy for mere words.
Even an atheist would speak His name, unaware that their very breathe is giving constant acknowledgment to God.
Likewise, a person leaves this earth with their last breath, when God’s name is no longer filing their lungs.
So when I can’t utter anything else, is my cry calling out His name?
Being alive means I speak His name constantly.
So, is it heard the loudest when I’m the quietest?
In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs.
In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst.
In fear we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down.
When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.
When I think about it, breathing is giving him praise. Even in the hardest moments!
This is so beautiful and fills me with emotion every time I grasp the thought. God chose to give himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive.
All of us, always, everywhere.
Waking, sleeping, breathing, with the name of God on our lips.
Written by Sandra Thurman Caporale from the Memorial Church of Christ in Houston.
The ELCA celebrates Black History Month every February to recognize and honor the history and contributions of Black Lutherans. This year, African Descent Ministries of the ELCA is celebrating with season two of Talks at the Desk, a video series that explores diverse expressions of the church.
Join them live on YouTube each Wednesday this month at 8:30 PM to hear youth, young adults, rostered leaders, elders, and friends of the community as they share their stories, achievements, and accomplishments in faith, justice, education, and service. If you can't join their live sessions, you can watch all their videos on the ELCA YouTube channel.
Additionally, the ELCA has committed to the work of dismantling racism through education, training, and advocacy. This work is done through partnerships with organizations such as the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and the Black Clergy Caucus of the ELCA. It’s important to recognize the rich history of Black Lutherans in the ELCA and celebrate their lasting impact on our church and society.
Visit the African Descent Lutheran Association website, www.adlaelca.org, to learn more about our ELCA African Descent community and how to join this active, vital network and association.
Last week, I received a lovely email from the late Rev. Dr. Linwood Chamberlain's wife, Peggy. With her permission, I wanted to share a wonderful gift she had made for her children and grandchildren using Pastor Woody's robes and stoles.
These throw pillows have meaningful memories for Peggy and her family. By sharing with you all, Peggy and I hope these might inspire you to find new and creative ways to remember loved ones or a special occasion to be cherished for generations.
If you want to share more wonderful ideas, crafts, thoughts, or more. Please email me at email@example.com.
Bishop Craig Satterlee is the bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod and the author of ten books and many articles. His newest book, My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus In Preaching will be available to borrow upon re-opening of the Lutheran Center.
My Burden is Light is a must-read for all those seeking to grow in their Christian faith. The book is an inspirational guide to living a life of joy and hope, while still carrying the responsibility of being a faithful Christian. Bishop Satterlee draws upon his personal experience as a pastor and his scholarship as a theologian to provide a comprehensive and accessible guide to the central tenets of the Christian faith. My Burden is Light is an essential resource for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the Bible and how it applies to their life today. It is filled with encouraging words of wisdom, stories, and biblical passages that will help readers find peace and hope amid life’s struggles. This will be a great new resource for anyone seeking to grow in their faith.
If you're interested in Bishop Satterlee's other books, be sure to check out his website: https://craigasatterlee.com/
Other reviews of his latest book can be found at this link: https://craigasatterlee.com/2023/01/08/resources-my-burden-is-light/
I would also recommend taking the time to review some of the articles he has written on preaching: https://craigasatterlee.com/preach/
If you would like to join the waitlist for My Burden is Light, please send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know!