Date: Thursday, December 19
Scripture: John 20:19-23
Verse: When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)
Many people are drawn to Christ by a gnawing sense that there has to be more to life than what they are experiencing. They begin to wonder about bigger issues than having the right job, accumulating possessions, acquiring the most Facebook friends, and the like. Jesus offers us a life that is so much more than breathing, more than simple existence. Our life has meaning and purpose when we lose it in Christ.
Today’s passage is a continuation of yesterday’s. Throughout John’s telling of the resurrection story, he alludes to the creation story in Genesis. One of the, if not the primary, themes of John’s gospel is this idea of Jesus ushering in a new creation. As Jesus breathes on the disciples, we remember the words of Genesis 2:7, “the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being” (see Tuesday’s devotion). Jesus, the creator God in the flesh, is offering us new life, a different life. They already have “creation life.” Jesus offers something more.
When you get out of the city/suburbs and wake up on a cold, crisp morning, one of the first things you want to do when you pop out of the tent or open the cabin door is take a deep breath. The air smells different up on the mountain or out in the woods. It feels cleaner. We just want to take it in, deep inside of us. So we breathe deep, and try and fill our lungs and ourselves with the freshness of the morning air. I want that same experience with the Holy Spirit. I want to fill myself with, immerse myself in, the breath of Christ. I want to breathe deep.
We breathe deep through prayer, our devotions, worship, singing, fasting, serving others, and any other time we seek to lose ourselves in Christ Jesus. Breathe deep.
Prayer: Teach me, O God, to breathe deep of your Holy Spirit, as I seek to find meaning and purpose to my life. Amen.
Action: Reflect on times when you have had that instinct to breathe deep, to absorb the moment, to pause and recognize where you are, who you are with, and simply appreciate it.
Respond: When do you breathe deep – camping, cooking, baking, the Christmas tree? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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