We listen this morning to the sound of our own breath,
and the breathing of those around us. [pause for 30 seconds]
Thank you God for breath,
for life flowing in and out of each of us.
It is wonderful to be alive—thank you for life!
Thank you for the sweet scent of the breath of spring;
for blossoms, apricot, cherry, peach,
for daffodils and sweet hyacinths,
for the good earth, turned over and ready for seed,
for the strong sun and its power.
Thank you that you are a God who hears our breath.
You hear our slow steady breaths as we’ve slept,
the panting of children as they run and play,
the deep breaths of hard work and manual labour,
our slow sighs when we are tired or weary or filled with grief.
You hear our first little baby breath,
you are the one who hears and knows our final breath.
Your Spirit moves over the earth, enlivening us all.
Help us to exhale hatred, and inhale your love
Help us to exhale greed, and inhale your generosity.
Help us to exhale despair, and inhale your hope.
Breathe life into peacemakers,
in the conflicts in our own town and country,
where class and race and ideology divide us.
Breathe life into peacemakers who work to end wars,
we think particularly of conflict in______________.
Breathe inspiration into our government leaders and diplomats,
helping them work for peaceful solutions.
Forgive us when we are not outraged by war and violence,
and instead are numb to every new story of destruction.
On this most beautiful of days,
with your Spirit blowing over this land,
thank you for giving us this chance
to be part of your breathtaking work,
humble servants in the service of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen