May 19, 2010


Ruach is the Hebrew word for breath. It is also the word used in Hebrew scriptures for the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God, in the mind of the early Jews, was the breath of God.

As preparations for Pentecost continue, I'm drawn to the first Collect choice for this Sunday. "Shed abroad this gift [of the Spirit] throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth..."

The Spirit continues to be the breath of God and it is breathed in and out by the body of Christ here on earth; you and me. As we share the good news of God's redemption by word and deed, the Spirit is propelled from within us and enters another just as simply as they draw a breath.

This is a new realization for me as my prevailing image of the Spirit is the very Pentecost-y wind image. I have no control over the wind, it blows where it chooses, and though I have no real control over my breath, I do have control over my location. Am I breathing the Spirit in a holy huddle or am I breathing the Spirit among those who haven't had the pleasure? Where does this Spirit need to be shared, through the preaching of the Gospel, so that it truly may reach the ends of the earth?

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