“Breathe on Me Breath of God”

This week we pondered Acts 3 and 4 and we saw those followers of Jesus who were so much impacted by Pentecost, the spiritual high that changed lives and the direction of their faith, but are now living the everyday life.  They go to the Temple, as normal, to pray and are met, as normal, by beggars.  They are living in the afterglow but going about life as normal.  But something has changed and they are changing.  They meet the lame beggar with the truth.  They have no silver or gold but they do have faith in Jesus as healer, as crucified and as risen and alive and active in the world-today.  This faith is not a college degree by fishermen but a truth that has become integrated into their lives and actions.  So they reach out to the beggar and he walks!!!  In the Temple!!!

         Religious leaders are flabbergasted and jail Peter and John over night.  Afraid of the crowd and the obvious reality of the healing they release the two with serious warnings.  The new group that is forming is going to clash with authorities and the clouds are beginning to form on the  horizon.  So what do they pray? “Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”

         In 1876 Edwin Hatch of the Church of England wrote the hymn “Breathe on Me Breath of God.”  It was published privately in a pamphlet entitled “Between Doubt and Prayer.”  Dr. Hatch also served for a while as a professor of the classics at Trinity College in Canada.  He was known for his scholarship and lectures in early church history.  The hymn not only refers to the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, brooding over creation but also speaks to the events of Pentecost we have been looking at.  The prayer is that this Holy Spirit would continue working in us and enabling us to share how God has impacted our lives.  It’s a devotional hymn so take a few moments to enjoy this old classic.

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