Job 33:4 (CEB)

God’s spirit made me;
    the Almighty’s breath enlivens me.


When Elihu made this statement to Job, it seemed like stating the obvious, only it’s as easy to forget that we are people of the Spirit, as it is to forget our own breathing. God’s Spirit breathes through us. Mere vessels of clay, we were shaped and animated by the breath of God. We breathe in the name of God, we breathe out the name of God.

Richard Rohr tells this story about breathing the name of God. Yahweh, the sacred name of God revealed to Moses, was so holy that it could not be spoken. For this reason it was in written in Hebrew without vowels as YHVH (yod, he, vay, he). It was written this way to be unpronounceable, so it couldn’t be spoken. The remaining consonants can only be breathed, imitating the sound our breath makes when we breathe in (yod, he) and out (vay, he). So the first breath you take when you’re born, and all the breaths during your life time, including the last breath you take as you die, means you’re breathing the holy name of God.

The work of the Spirit of God is to create new life. During the Creation, the Spirit breathed life into the first humans (Genesis 2:7). The Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11) and Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Spirit, which came at Pentecost to breathe life into the new church. As children of God, the Spirit of God dwells in us, creating us anew, shaping us to be like Christ, sharing God’s love with others.

By Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering & Prayer

Since the Global Pandemic, we’ve altered our lives around breathing. We’ve had to become focused on the effects of our own breathing, on our own health, and the effects of our breathing on others. Making these adjustments to keep each other safe has been difficult. Along the way, we may have forgotten that God gave us breath, that the Spirit is at work in our lives and that with every breath, we are to be God’s love to each other, helping and serving.

Right now, take a moment to breathe the name of God in and breathe the name of God out. Let your life be enlivened by the working of the Spirit.

Prayer: Spirit of God, help us never to forget that we are your children, created anew in Christ, and that with every breath, we live to show your love and serve others. Amen.