Adam had his beginning when, "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the bread of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7. Breath, God's breath, made us living beings. I believe that a heartbeats the first detectible sign of life inside the womb and take a breath is the first detectible sign of life outside the womb. So, a breathing heart and breathing are essential to living.
A hard pivot for sure, but I was watching a fascinating new series on the secret tapes of Hitler (I warned you). I am an absolute fanatic for history, and so I was intrigued about what made this man one of the most horrific figures of a beating heart and the breath of life. In the documentary, one of the historians noted that after Hitler was released from prison for treason, Germany was actually doing quite well politically, financially and culturally. They were rebounding and rebuilding from the devastation of WWI. He said this was not good for Hitler because he was intent on rising to power. The reason this was not good for Hitler was because, as the historians said, Hitler's "OXYGEN WAS CHAOS". I paused the T. V. when I heard this. Three thoughts flooded my mind. One, this is the same for Satan and his demons. Their oxygen is chaos. Secondly, I asked myself, "What is your oxygen?" The third was, "What is the oxygen of our church?" And by oxygen I mean, what gives you life or makes you want to get up in the morning. It is what sustains you and keeps you going. Oxygen could also be seen as something you "feed" on.
Inexplicably, there are people we live near, work with, or may even be related to, whose 'oxygen', like the dark forces of hell, is crisis or chaos. It is difficult to be in a long term or active relationship with these kinds of people, and the sooner we identify them and put up boundaries, the better off we will be. Sadly, there are those whose 'oxygen' is some form of substance abuse. Some people, in less deviant ways, live, eat and breathe off of money or possessions. This is their 'oxygen'. For others, it may be family, vacations, recreation, sports, or entertainment. What is your 'oxygen'?
My oxygen must be, as a follower of Jesus, and all that it entails: Reading the Bible, studying the Word, praying, serving, giving, loving, forgiving, attending church, et al. I would also add to that list: being a good spouse, parent, grandparent, and then pastor. I'm pretty sure the same would be true of you.
Finally, what is the 'oxygen' of the Foothills Church of Gilroy? I am reminded of scripture I have relied on for our church from its inception in July of 1990. Psalm 138:2, "For you have exalted above all things Your name and Your word." I think this is a good start for identifying the 'oxygen' of The Foothills. Paul also said in Acts 17:28, "For in Him we live and move and have our being." God, His name and His word, must be the life, and breath of this church. Our 'oxygen' can also be found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
All of these things, along with the people (family) God has called here, is OUR OXYGEN - certainly not a building.