Be the Breath of God
—2 Kings 4:18-37
What a wonderful story this is! The story of Elisha and the rich woman from Shunem is a story of faith and devotion, of the miracle of unlikely birth and the ultimate catastrophe of the death of her precious child. A greater miracle occurs when Elisha lies down on the boy's body, "placing his mouth, eyes and hands on the boy's mouth, eyes and hands. As he lay stretched out over the boy, the boy's body started to get warm."
Elisha repeated the warming process a second time, and the boy sneezed seven times, then opened his eyes. His mother "fell at Elisha's feet with her face touching the ground; then she took her son and left."
Elisha, lying on the body of the boy, had become a channel for the breath of life, the breath of God, to enter the boy's body and to restore him to life. So are you and I, so are all Christians called to bring new life into God's world by being channels for the breath of God. As we open our hearts to become ever more aware of God's presence in our lives, we will be led to find new ways of sharing the miracle of this gracious presence.
Paul, who framed the early church with his letters, wrote often of this "grace," this ultimate gift of unearned love that God waits eagerly to share with us. "You are saved by God's grace!" he thunders. Paul knew from his own experience that the good he had done while he was trying to earn a way into God's kingdom could not take him there. He also knew that his zeal in persecuting Christians would not make it impossible for him to find a way into the kingdom—when God opened the door for him.
Paul takes his stand as the flag bearer of the early church. God brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things we did that were wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us.
Miracles and grace. God is good!
Gracious God, help us breathe your life into this often dead world and so make it your kin-dom. Amen.