Breathe on me, Breath of God

When I was in seminary studying ancient Hebrew, I learned that the word ruach means wind, spirit or breath. I don’t remember a lot of Hebrew vocabulary, but I have never forgotten that one. Have you noticed before that in bestowing the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, Jesus breathes on them?

On Pentecost, we often hear the story of the Spirit descending as tongues of flame and mighty, rushing wind. Yet in Hebrew at least, what is a mighty wind can also be a deep breath. I find this image of the Spirit to be tremendously comforting in challenging times, because I imagine that not only is the Spirit’s wind capable of swirling around me, but also that the Spirit can be my very breath. In, out, in, out… the rhythmic cadence that gives me life is the breath of God, the Holy Spirit.

The Sprit is wonderfully expansive: mighty wind, tongues of flame and breath of life. A wonderful gift, indeed.

Breathe on me, Breath of God, that I may be filled with your Spirit, your light, and your life. Amen. — JM

Contributed by Joanna Miller

Eternity for Today