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Faith: Inspire us, God, to do your will

"I will pour out my Spirit

on every kind of people:

Your sons will prophesy,

also your daughters.

Your old men will dream,

your young men will see visions." - Joel 2:29

When was the last time you have felt inspired? This past year I have had the opportunity to gather on a regular basis with a group of colleagues who are very inspiring to my heart and my journey.

While we all are called to some type of ministry within the church, we were also artists, writers, poets, preachers and musicians. Sprinkled among these artistic types were other quiet voices, deep listeners that seemed to hold the space in which we were meeting, offering just the perfect spoken thought that caused everyone to stare into the middle distance with the look of "ah, yes" on their faces.

To be "inspired" is to be in the Presence of the Holy. This inspiration can come in many forms - a good book, a well presented sermon, a beautiful piece of music, the wisdom of an elder, the joyful play of a child, the sight of a flower blooming, the calm with which "diamonds" glitter on the water, the purposeful movement of the birds of the air.

To be inspired enlivens us, fills us with a forward motion, often resulting in emotion welling up that takes us by surprise.

One definition of the word "inspire" is "to breathe on or to breathe life into." This definition is listed in the dictionary as an archaic one. But I beg to differ.

The reach of the Holy, that Breath that blew over the deep and Creation was born, is still breathing, still enlivening. We see this with the dawning of each new day, in the birth of each tiny child, in the face of someone who has just connected with a deep realization.

Yet another definition of inspire describes the "inhaling, the drawing in" of that same sacred breath, that air that keeps us living, moving, finding our place in the world. Breathing in ... breathing out ... inspiring ... being filled with Spirit ... inspirited.

A common prayer at the beginning of many worship services is "open our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit." If we take this prayer seriously we are asking for something amazing, something powerful to happen in our midst. Come among us, breathe over us, breathe through us, Spirit. Come among us and allow our breath to become your breath and your breath to become ours.

Simply put: Inspire us, God. Inspire us to be your people and do your will.