Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Sweet Breath of God

The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life... -Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

One of our oldest church members often shares memories of growing up in this church. On several occasions, she has told me about her childhood experience of hugging the preacher each Sunday morning as she left church. She said that the preacher always smelled like cinnamon! When she asked her parents why this was so, they told her that the preacher always had a piece of cinnamon candy in his mouth to freshen his breath.

Now, there's a good chance that a child in our church has gone home and said, "Mama, why does Tommy smell like coffee?" since my coffee consumption surpasses my cinnamon consumption by a mile. Some of you reading this may be thinking, "Now I know what to get our coffee-breath pastor for Christmas next year....a bag of cinnamon!" Please don't waste your money. I like cinnamon candy but I'd rather have an Elk River Coffee Company Gift Card.

But I do like the image of our church member's childhood pastor having breath like cinnamon.

I hadn't planned to linger in Genesis 2 this morning but verse 7 just stayed with me yesterday when I read it. The writer mentions the breath of God and two things came to my mind. First, to breathe onto someone else requires close proximity. When God breathed life into the first human, it was a beautifully intimate act. Second, don't you think that the breath of God must certainly be sweet? It may not smell like cinnamon but it is life-giving and life-changing.

When is the last time that you were close enough to God that you felt his sweet breath bringing life into you? Are there things you could do as this new year begins to put yourself in a better position to experience this life-giving breath? The One who created you wants to empower you. That's pretty sweet if you ask me.

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