Friday, March 14, 2014

the breath of life

                


Today my eldest daughter, Nevéah, came home from school and said, 'I told my teacher I had some Maori in me.'  I looked at her.  'Just a little bit,' she quickly added.  'Oh?' I asked.  'Yeah,' she said awkwardly, shuffling her feet a bit and looking up at me from under her eyebrows, 'because you know, we speak some Maori words . . . at . . .  home?' she trailed off, unconvincingly.  'Oh, ok.' I replied, and just gave her the look. 

 
It's true.  We do speak some Maori at home.  Just simple phrases.  We don't know a lot & with few friends around who speak it, we aren't even sure sometimes that our phrases or pronunciation are correct.  Still we bumble through, we give it go.  We do our best to get it right.  When I speak to the kids in Maori in front of people, it sounds forced and artificial, so it's easier just to speak it at home. 
 
It's like our special language. 
 
Each day I love to pull my wildly active toddler close, and whisper,  'Homai he kihi'.  Then she leans in and plants me a wet one on the lips.  Sometimes we hongi -  gently pressing our noses and foreheads together, instead of a kiss.  In Maori culture, during a hongi, it is believed that the 'ha', the 'breath of life', is exchanged and shared.  In that moment, when my small always-on-the-go child pauses for just seconds, there is a closeness that we share that can't be captured in a regular juicy kiss.
There is something special, something sacred, in that exchanging & sharing of breath.


 
Long ago, right back at the beginning, there was the first sharing of breath - the first hongi.  Genesis 2 v 7 -  Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. From this beautiful act, this outpouring of love; this sharing of life, came the first human life. Just imagine that for a moment - God Himself leaning down and breathing into the nostrils of this small, fragile human.  There was something sacred in that moment, in the sharing and exchanging of 'ha'; the Breath of Life.

What could we possibly give back, in response to that? That gift of Breath, the gift of Life?

Worship.   In the words of Ann Voskamp - 'worship is the essence of everything.  Worship is giving back to God what He's breathed into us'.  Is it the singing of songs, the reciting of prayers, the lighting of candles, the good works?  Yes, it's all of those things.  But it's so much more than just those things.  It is the pouring out of self,  an outpouring of love to Him.  It can be in the sacred rituals and in the every day, mundane activities.  It is the intent that lies behind those things - an act of sacrifice, and an act of love. 
 
Romans 12:1 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
 
In that moment way back at the beginning of time, God poured out His breath, shared His life-giving breath, in an act of love.  Later, His Son, in another most beautiful act of love and sacrifice, poured out His life so that we could share in that Life for always. 
 
Through authentic worship we have the opportunity to experience true intimacy with God, in every life moment and all that we do - an act of sacrifice, of love.   There is something sacred in that moment of 'giving back to God what He's breathed into us'.  This outpouring of love, this sharing of Life. 
 
John 4 v 24 - God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. 

4 comments:

  1. SELECTIVE "FAITH ONLY" SALVATION

    FAITH ONLY BELIEVERS IN CHRIST DENY THAT THE NEW COVENANT PLAN OF SALVATION WAS NOT IN EFFECT UNTIL AFTER THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS. (THAT WOULD BE ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST) IN ORDER TO BE SAVED WITHOUT BEING BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF THEIR SINS. (WATER BAPTISM) THEY PROCLAIM THAT THEY CAN BE SAVED LIKE THE THIEF ON THE CROSS. (LUKE 23:39-43)
    IF MEN TODAY CAN BE SAVED LIKE, THE THIEF ON THE CROSS, THEN WHY CAN THEY NOT BE SAVED LIKE, THE RICH YOUNG RULER?

    LUKE 18:18-22 A RULER QUESTIONED HIM, SAYING, "GOOD TEACHER, WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?" 19 JESUS SAID TO HIM, "WHY DO YOU CALL ME GOOD? NO ONE IS GOOD EXCEPT GOD ALONE. 20 YOU KNOW THE COMMANDMENTS, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.' 21 AND HE SAID, "ALL THESE THINGS I HAVE KEPT FROM MY YOUTH." 22 WHEN JESUS HEARD THIS, HE SAID TO HIM, "ONE THING YOU STILL LACK; SELL ALL THAT YOU POSSESS AND DISTRIBUTE IT TO THE POOR, AND YOU SHALL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN; COME AND FOLLOW ME."

    WHAT WAS THE RICH MAN'S PLAN OF SALVATION?

    The rich man's question was what must I do to inherit eternal life?

    1. Do not commit adultery.
    2. Do not murder.
    3. Do not steal.
    4. Do not bear false witness.
    5. Honor your father and mother.
    6. Sell all your possessions and distribute them to the poor.

    Jesus said do this and you shall have treasure in heaven.

    Can men today be saved by, the rich man's plan of salvation? OF COURSE NOT!

    Can men today be saved by, the thief on the cross plan of salvation? OF COURSE NOT!

    The apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon under the New Covenant on the Day of Pentecost.

    THE NEW COVENANT PLANT OF SALVATION
    1. FAITH: John 3:16
    2. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38
    3. CONFESSION Romans 10:9-10
    4. WATER BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:1-7, Colossians 2:12-13.

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)
    .

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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  2. thanks for taking the time to read my post, Steve & for your comments. I think I will respectfully disagree with you on this one, but I think we can both agree on three things mentioned in this post - that God created man, that Jesus died to pay for our sins, and that we can choose to live a life of worship in thanks to Him.

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  3. Thanks for the message meg ... I also hongi with my toddler girl - it's so special.

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  4. Hey Meg - thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog the other day; I have just popped in and you have captivated me! I love your writing, and it is such a timely reminder that God is in everything! Even in the tough times He pours His breath into us to sustain us... thank you!

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