Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Feast of the Holy Trinity - John 16:12-15

John 16:12-15
Someone asked me recently when the Holy Ghost disappeared and the Holy Spirit appeared. I’m not sure when but I know why. In Hebrew the word attached to the third person of the Trinity is Ruach, in Greek Pneuma or breath. Spirit seems to capture that idea better than Ghost, but Holy Breath might be better. In the beginning Holy Breath hovered over the chaos and called forth the creation. Holy Breath animated humans formed from dust. Holy Breath inspired words in the mouth of the prophets to convict and correct so that the vision of redemption and return could be realized. Holy Breath cried in a stable and on a hill. Holy Breath stepped out of the darkness of death and through locked doors to breathe on disciples hiding in fear and confusion. On the day when the waiting came to an end Holy Breath like the rush of a wind spoke through fisher folk and tax collectors in languages unlearned. To this day Holy Breath breathed scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) “calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies and keeps us in the one true faith.” (Luther) And wherever and wherever the one holy catholic (small c = universal, invisible) and apostolic church steps into and lives out of the truth as guided by Holy Breath, the Father Son Spirit is glorified.


  1. Decades ago on one of my first Chicago Cursillo weekends I bought a prayerbook written by a Dutch priest named Huub Oosterhuis. The book has lived, traveled and sat with me throughout my adult life. Here's a small excerpt from my favorite prayer in the book, a prayer named "In the Holy Spirit":

    "We worship you, Holy Spirit of God
    and we may only guess, as best we can,
    who you are for us.
    We call you by human names and words
    so that we need not be entirely silent.
    We open up our hearts to receive you
    that we may learn
    how deeply and invisibly you are present everywhere.
    You are the air we breathe,
    the distance we gaze into,
    the space that surrounds us.
    You are the kindly light
    in which men are attractive to each other.
    You are the finger of God
    with which he playfully ordered the universe.
    You are the sensitive love
    with which he created us.
    We pray to you, Spirit of God, creator,
    complete the work you have begun,
    prevent the evil we are capable of doing
    and inspire us towards what is good -
    to faithfulness and patience,
    to compassion and gentleness,
    and waken in us friendship
    for every living being
    and with joy for everything
    that is good and human."

  2. Oh my. Thank you, Greg. This prayer to and of the Holy Breath took my breath away!