Ordinary Sunday 5, 4 February 2018

Vicar’s Reflection: Ordinary Sunday 5, 4th February 2018

We need to breathe to live. Breathing is recognized by many religions as in itself, or symbolically an important spiritual discipline. From a biological point of view breathing enables the body to remove un-needed carbon dioxide and to receive oxygen for energy and life. Breathing is a finely balanced cycle. Speakers on the marae sometimes begin a speech with the phrase “Tihei mauri ora!” “This is the breath of life” they mean, and it can refer to the first breath of a baby as it begins life or the intake of breath as a speech begins or new idea presented. ‘The Hebrew ‘ruach’ means “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” The Greek word is pneuma. Both words are used in the Bible for the Holy Spirit and it appears in the second verse: “The Spirit of God [Ruach Elohim] was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2).’ In the life of Jesus, we see that he balanced his life of effective spiritual outreach to others with withdrawal and times of solitude for himself. This is a model for us as his followers to ensure that our busy lives of involvement in work, community and family are balanced with time to reflect, pray and worship. We need times to worship together, and in solitude. The season of Lent begins soon on Ash Wednesday (14 Feb) with a combined service at St Faith’s. We will also be offering Lenten studies as an opportunity for a quiet in-breathing of spiritual refreshment. May God’s breath be with you.

Alex Czerwonka

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