Day 40: Holy Saturday, April 8, 2023
Rev. Sela Finau
The Breath of God
Scripture: The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 NRSV)
Devotion: As we journey through life, we encounter different people with varying personalities and behaviors. Some quickly become our friends, while others remain strangers to us. There are those we admire and wish to emulate, and others we want to avoid. However, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and to show kindness and compassion to all.
As we reach the end of the season of Lent 2023 and look forward to Easter, let us take a moment to reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus. Instead of rushing from Good Friday to Easter, pause and breathe deeply. Hold a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale. Repeat this several times and focus on the sensation of your breath.
The breath we take is the basis of all things. It is the divine breath of life that has sustained us since the beginning of Creation. The Hebrew word ruach can mean wind, spirit, or breath, and in the book of Genesis, we read how “the breath of God” swept over the face of the water, bringing life and order to the formless void.
On Holy Saturday, we remember how Jesus lay in the tomb, his body lifeless and still. But just as the breath of God was present during the creation of the world, it was also present with Jesus, bringing renewal and new life. Meditate on this story and allow yourself to feel the presence of God in your life.
As we journey through life, let us remember that the divine breath of life is within us, sustaining us and giving us the strength to love and serve others. Let us embrace all people, even those we find difficult to connect with, and show them the same compassion that Jesus showed to us. Let us be the breath of God in this world, bringing life and hope to those in need.
Prayer: Creator God, may your breath within us remind us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to reach out to those in need, and to offer kindness to strangers we encounter on our journey. Empower us to do unpopular things and to serve others with humility, allowing the experience to transform us.
May we be reminded of the love of Christ, who breathed new life into the world. Help us appreciate life’s complexity and simplicity, and find joy in all of creation.
May the gift of breath within us move us to become the wind of God, bringing new life and renewal to the world. Remind us that your breath and spirit are always present and guiding us.
We offer this prayer in gratitude for the gift of life and breath, and in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.