“Breathe in Me”

Our Advent Devotion for Friday, December 17, comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth;

for he will not speak on his own but will speak whatever he hears,

and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 16:13 NIV

“When Jesus says that the Spirit will lead us to the complete truth,

he means that the Spirit will make us full participants in the divine life,

a life that makes us new people, living with a new mind and in a new time:

the mind and time of Jesus Christ.”

The Selfless Way of Christ, page 42, by Henri J.M. Nouwen

“Breathe in Me”

The Greek and Hebrew words for “spirit” also mean “breath” or “wind.” Breath and wind are invisible but powerful. Spirit, breath, wind – all are dynamic forces, full of life and energy. Sometimes the Spirit moves within us and within our world with gale force; sometimes the Spirit moves gently and almost imperceptibly, like a soft breeze.

When Jesus says that the Spirit “speaks” and “declares,” he means that the Spirit moves within us, nudging us, whispering to our minds and breathing truth into us. But we can shut out its gusts and breezes by closing the windows and doors of our minds.

Let us stay close to Christ and his Spirit, allowing ourselves to be guided by the very breath of God.


Friends –

I recently read about an image for the Spirit of God: a funnel that helps the Voice of God flow into us more easily. The funnel image helps us to receive and understand God’s Voice, calling us to always speak with God’s truth, whether with gale force or a soft breeze. Personally, I prefer the soft breeze because of the comfort and peace I feel when a soft breeze passes by me. Of course, sometimes a gale force is needed to make God’s voice heard, and the Spirit comes to us as a guide about how to share God’s truth.


Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ, breathe in me, speak in me. May I be sensitive to your gentle guidance. And when I am not, blow with gale force until I hear your truth! Amen.

Henri J.M. Nouwen