Breathing In (April 12, 2013)

…Opening To…

For a second after Aslan breathed upon him the stone lion looked just the same. Then a tiny streak of gold began to run along his white marble back — then it spread — then the colour seemed to lick all over him as the flame licked all over a bit of paper — then, while his hind-quarters were still obviously stone the lion shook his mane and all the heavy, stony folds rippled into living hair. (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)

…Listening In…

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22; context)

…Filling Up…

…Day five with the Apostle Peter (click here for day one, two, three, four)

“As the Father sent me, so I am sending you,” he continued. With these words, we, who had been as still as statues mere minutes before, all leaned in, like trees bending toward the sunlight. And he exhaled a deep, cleansing breath, then another and another. As he breathed out, I breathed in. I breathed in his breath, the wind of his life. I breathed in the words he had spoken twice since his arrival, the very peace that he proclaimed, that he radiated. This was Jesus, and he was alive, and he was breathing life back into us, into the ones who had entombed ourselves in that locked house.

As we leaned closer, Jesus said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And his breath washed over me, into me, through me. His Spirit brought peace to the war raging within. His breath blew across the faint glow of hope, turning the glow into a spark, and the spark into a flame, and the flame into a fire. And the fire set my heart alight with all the fervor of rekindled belief in this Jesus, this risen Lord, this one who would not abandon me to the grave even after I had abandoned him to die.

I tell you, friend, that in the years since that day, my daydreams have often brought me back to that moment when Jesus breathed his Spirit into me. When I am in distress, when I am in grief, when I forget that I believe that I am with God, I can take a breath. And I will remember that I am breathing in the peace that our Lord has given to each of us, the peace that passes all my ability to understand and lodges where I need that peace the most – in the secret places within where the war still rages from time to time. You see, every time I take a breath, and, for that matter, every time you take a breath, we are not only filling up our lungs with air. We are filling up our souls with the Holy Spirit of God, who continues to breathe into us the new life of the Risen Christ.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the life-breath of all things. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that you breathe into my soul, so that I can know on a level beyond knowing that you are sustaining me with your life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, feeling you breathe the peace that passes all understanding into my heart and soul.

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