Take a breath. Open your senses so they can feel the light that surrounds you.

Take a breath… and enjoy the life around you.

Sometimes it is difficult to see the sun over the clouds. But the sun is always there.

Sometimes it is difficult to feel the presence of the Triune God, but God is always there.

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Jesus was deeply disturbed again when he came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone covered the entrance. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, “Lord, the smell will be awful! He’s been dead four days.”

Jesus replied, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see God’s glory?” So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.” Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Therefore, many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did believed in him.

John 11:38-45

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Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ tomb. Everyone is holding their breaths, waiting to see what the teacher will do. His crying eyes focus on the stone, a stone that seems as big as the four days that have passed. And then, with a confident voice, he says: Remove the stone!

Jesus’ words evoke liberation: “Remove the stone” — remove the sign of death and finality; “Come out!” — a commandment that moves Lazarus from death to life; “Untie him and let him go!” — words that free Lazarus to go back to his sisters and to his life.

This passage invites us, like the people who were there that day, to believe. To believe that only Jesus can take us from death to life. To believe that he can restore us whenever we find ourselves in situations of darkness. To believe that he is the one sent by God, our Savior, our Redeemer.

In his life, we find the release and liberation we need to be able to let go of our breath and trust in the grace that is given.

Marissa Galván-Valle

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Jesus, you are my freedom, my release, my restorer, my infinite. You move me from situations of death to an abundant and joyful life. Thank you for the gift of resurrection for when I am downtrodden and entombed. Thank you for the breath of life, for the loud call to liberty — liberty to do your will in gratitude. In your name I pray, amen.

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Breathe in!

Breathe in the life and hope that only God provides.

Breathe in so that you can go and give this hope of life to others, in everything you do and everything you say.

Marissa Galván-Valle

Marissa Galván-Valle is a Presbyterian Minister who is the Associate for Resources and Relationships with the Hispanic/Latino Constituency of the PCUSA and works to produce and promote Spanish language resources curriculum resources for the PCUSA. She is also a part-time pastor of Beechmont Presbyterian Church, an intercultural church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Mark Hayes

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