Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mum, its like I have to remember to breathe! - CROSS PURPOSES 128


August 10 2008

Mum, its like I have to remember to breathe!

Hi Guys,

Recently a mum was telling me about the medical journey of her daughter. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been without its indignities. And certainly not without pain.

At one point, to ease the debilitating effects of the illness the Doctors increased her morphine intake. Which seemed to be perfectly OK until the patient said “Mum, it’s like I have to remember to breathe!”

That got a response from the medical people. Made me think too. I take for granted every moment of every day that I am breathing. It is built-in to my whole being that I draw breath every second or two. It’s true if I’m running, (not so much these days), it’s true if I’m walking, sitting, doing nothing. I live in this extraordinary world by virtue of my breathing. Without air I’m dead as a doornail. And I’ve never once had to think about the next breath. I’ve assumed it will be there.

In the holy tale called scripture there’s a fair bit about breath too!
4 At creation the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. (Genesis)
4 God breathed into Adam the breath of life. (Gen 2)
4 God breathed into the reassembled bones in the wilderness. (Ezekiel 37)

When the story moves onto Jesus:
4 the breath gets back into dead kids and adults and it gets back into Lazarus.
4 It gets out of Jesus as ‘he breathed his last,’ and it is back in him when raised from death.
4 Then when he meets the disciples he breathes on them and says “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

And forever after the breath of the Spirit has been the breath of the kingdom. We sing it in the classic hymn, “Breath on me breath of God”. And we sing of it when we have that contemporary song, “You are the air I breathe…”

But a strange thing. A very strange thing indeed. In eternity, such breathing of the Spirit of God will not be a thing we need to remember to do. But here, in the kingdom, still in this world, it’s not automatic. Here we need to access the air. We still have to access the air of Christ’s Kingdom. We breathe the Spirit as gift but also task. We can do it – that’s grace. But the breath of the Spirit blows over us as we swim in the things of the Spirit of God. It’s about letting the grace of Jesus blow over us and into us. It’s about immersion in the gospel. It’s about worship and fellowship, about prayer and Holy Communion. It’s about living in a vital relationship with God – about engaging with him with all our fears and hopes. We are loved by the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. We are enabled to love the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To do so is to breathe.

So there. Remember to breathe.

Bless Ya



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