Breathing is pretty important, in fact, it’s vital if we want to stay alive. Not just the movement of body and intake/expelling of any old gas but the percentages of oxygen and other gases has to be just right or we die. It’s something so important our bodies don’t even let us have control over it (not for long anyway). It’s an autonomic action. Just think if you had to control breathing – all the time, as well as your heart rate, digestion, blood flow etc. Thank God for well-designed bodies.
It’s breath that gives life, God breathed life into man separating him from the rest of His Creation. God’s breath is vital to bring us new life today.
22 Now He drew close enough to each of them that they could feel His breath. He breathed on them:
Jesus: Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God.
2 because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death.
I have just finished reading Ezekiel and a phrase that leapt out at me in his rebukes and warnings to Israel was ‘breathless idols’. Such an odd phrase, of course idols are breathless – they are made of wood or stone or gold; they are crafted not alive. But then I thought a bit more. Breathless – without life and without the ability to give life. Israel knew the living God, the Eternal God who had given life to all things yet they went after breathless idols. Idols they themselves made or saw being made. representations of gods without power.
I’m glad we know so much better these days aren’t you? We don’t sacrifice our children as burnt offerings. We don’t oppress the poor and forget God’s laws. We don’t look up to things that lead us into sin. We don’t spend our time and money on things that are worthless. We don’t accept disgusting images because they are art and expensive.
Wow. I don’t have any little idols on altars in my house. I don’t bow and scrape before graven images. But I do have things that I prioritise and rely on and accept. I give them importance and regard sometimes – too often, in fact, the importance and respect I ought to give to God. I wonder if loving God with all my heart, soul and strength allows room for me to do what I want? I wonder if loving my neighbour as myself allows me to spend money on a new car when the one I have is perfectly ok just old. Or the huge dinner I will eat at Christmas so that I can’t move – or breathe! – after is ok when people are hungry, homeless, cold.
Wow indeed. I’ve been thinking about what I said yesterday regarding the 10 Commandments and the great Commandment. I think the simplified version isn’t simpler at all. It demands so much more of us because we have been given so much – to love God with ALL of me. That thought leaves me breathless in (let’s be honest) fear and anticipation.