I have just started a new exercise program, because well, I’m a little fat these days, I’m not getting any younger, because everybody in the small village would think I’m a little nuts if I went by jogging every day, and because every day when it’s cool enough to go and play basketball on the one single, net-less hoop here in town, either the local kids are using the court for soccer or it’s raining. So, I decided to take up a real good exercise program on DVD, to start over, to get energy again, and to get in shape again. To get a new wind and a new lease on life.
Guess what is the first thing that you do in this exercise program? The very first thing you do before you start with transforming yourself and starting with a new life is – breathe. The first thing you do is inhale.
When I was a kid, about 5 years old maybe, my family went to the beach. It was my Mom and Dad, my brother and sister and me. Usually when we went to the beach, my Dad would be out swimming in the water and my Mom would be on the shore, with my sister. My brother and I would be all over the place. So, I must have gotten it into my head to go swimming like my father, and I decided I was going to enter into the water. I went in about up to my little waist, and everything was great. Then I must have decided that I was going to put my face into the water like my Dad, so that’s what I did. I put my face down into the water. And when I did that, something amazing happened: my feet just popped off the sandy floor of the ocean. Now, I was floating, and it was awesome! For about 5 seconds.
You see, in order to get my head out of the water, I had to get my feet to the ground, and in order to get my feet to the ground, I had to get my head out of the water. I was stuck. And I couldn’t breathe. And I was scared.
But just when it seemed like I couldn’t hold my breathe any longer, this large lunged underneath me and lifted me out of the water, head and all. It was my father. He saved me. I had life all over again.
Do you know the first thing I did when I came out of the water? That’s right. I inhaled. New life.
Jesus died and was buried in the tomb, and then He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, right? Do you know what is the first thing He did when He rose from the dead? That’s right. He inhaled. New life.
In the Gospel for Pentecost, Jesus breathes, but this time He doesn’t inhale. This time, he exhales. Because now it’s the disciples’ turn to inhale. It’s the disciples’ turn to start a new life.
On Pentecost, Jesus gives us His Spirit, because now it’s our turn to forgive like Him when it doesn’t make any sense to, it’s our turn to give when it seems like we’ve given enough. It’s our turn to start to live His life.
It’s our turn to inhale.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22)