Breathe!

freshairThe person of the Holy Spirit has been called the “neglected” member of the Trinity! (God doesn’t suffer from neglect – we suffer from neglecting!)

The Spirit is described in many wonderful and vivid images, using all the senses – things we know best by experience rather than explanation: *the force of wind, *the intimacy of breathing; *the instincts of a Dove; *the energy of Fire; *the Comfort of a friend close by; *the fragrant healing balm of Oil; *the power of a river; *the ‘good intoxication’ of being filled and moved, continually being under the Lord’s influence! (Ephesians 5:18)

Fresh Air is the title for our current sermon series at Christ Church. (The title is borrowed from a book I’d recommend by Jack Levison.) 

The first sermon, Breathe! picks up on the image of the Spirit as breath and air, embedded in the very definition of spirit. (Pneuma in Greek; Ruach in Hebrew) Learn what this beautifyl image of breathing has to teach us about the “Holy and Life-giving Spirit.” 

On hearing the sermon theme, someone in our community reminded me of a book chapter titledBreaththat I adapted for the spoken word. I’ll share it here. Listen for the biblical allusions.

“The Spirit is like breath, as close as the lungs, the chest, the lips, the fogged canvas where little fingers draw hearts, the tide (in our lungs) that rises and falls twenty-three thousand times a day in a rhythm so intimate we forget to notice until(we’re out of breath or until a Friend or Guide) says “pay attention to your breath!” and its fragile power awes us again. Inhale. Exhale. Expand. Release.

In the beginning, God breathed. And the dust breathed back enough oxygen, water, and CO2 to make an atmosphere; to make a man. Job knew life – as “the breath of God in my nostrils,” given and taken away. With breath, the Creator kindled the stars, parted a sea, woke a valley of dry bones, inspired a sacred text.

So, too, the Spirit — inhaled and exhaled in a million (everyday) ways, animates, revives, nourishes, sustains, speaks! The Spirit is as near as the nose and as everywhere as the air, so pay attention! 

… And  BREATHE!

(adapted from Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans, chapter 23. Read the original excerpt here.)


Here’s the rest of the sermon themes for the Fresh Air series

May 17 – A Community of Oneness
May 24 – The Helper has Arrived!
May 31 – Anointed to Flourish
June 7 – The Gift Giver
June 14 – Temples 

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