In this morning’s Gospel passage, Jesus breathes on his disciples. It’s the way that the writer John expresses Jesus gifting the Holy Spirit to his followers. While we’ll celebrate Pentecost in June as the feast of the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire and all… I want to sit this morning with the analogy of the Holy Spirit as breath. The words that Jesus uses around this strange action he takes give us clues to what’s happening here, and how we might understand Scripture and its underlying truth to continue to shape and determine our lives.
When Jesus appears to his disciples in the passage this morning, he says first, “Peace be with you.” When we take deep breaths, we slow our heart rates, we force our bodies to calm down, to enter a state of deeper peace, just like Jesus tells us.