Not sure why I called this reflection ‘Great Expectations’ – though there are a lot of expectations on a parish priest – and there is a drowning in Dickens’ book of the name…
In the Orthodox Church, and in the ancient church (so the writings of the church father Cyril of Jerusalem says) as part of the rite of Baptism and Chrismation, the catechumens… those who are choosing to enter the faith of the Church – faith in Christ, are breathed on by the priest or deacon.
In the Bible, in the Gospel of John, Jesus comes to his disciples after the crucifixion and resurrection, and after showing them his hands and sides, with their injuries, he tells his disciples to go out and tell and then he breathes on them and says, ‘recieve the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22)
It’s not the first time God breathes into man… in Genesis 2:7, it is part of the creation story, that adamah, the man formed from the earth, is breathed into by God and becomes a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
The name for Spirit in Hebrew, one name, is Ruach… the holy spirit, the breath of God.
When did you last allow God to breathe into you?