“Jesus breathed into them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22, literal translation).
I recently received training from a drama coach for some dramatic vignettes I have been asked to present at a conference in Canada in early July. He taught me how to relax my body and mind and how to breathe from the depths of my being to prepare me to be “in character,” to feel from deep within the words and experiences of the people touched by the Holy Spirit.
This brought to mind a wonderful old poem by A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which describes what it means to breathe in the life of Jesus and breathe out the old life. I encourage you to read this out loud, slowly and dramatically, and let Jesus breathe His Holy Breath, His Holy Spirit, into you and through you.
“Breathing Out and Breathing In”
By A.B. Simpson
Jesus, Breathe Thy Spirit on me,
Teach me how to breathe Thee in,
Help me pour into Thy bosom
All my life of self and sin.
I am breathing out my own life,
That I may be filled with Thine;
Letting go my strength and weakness,
Breathing in Thy life divine.
Breathing out my sinful nature,
Thou hast borne it all for me;
Breathing in Thy cleansing fullness,
Finding all my life in Thee.
I am breathing out my sorrow,
On Thy kind and gentle breast;
Breathing in Thy joy and comfort,
Breathing in Thy peace and rest.
I am breathing out my longings,
In Thy list’ning loving ear,
I am breathing in Thy answers,
Stilling every doubt and fear.
I am breathing every moment,
Drawing all my life from Thee;
Breath by breath I live upon Thee,
Blessed Spirit, breathe in me.