2nd May 2021

Life in a handful of dust

John starts his gospel work “In the beginning…”. Later Jesus creates sight for a blind man with a handful of dust. After his resurrection, he meets Mary in a garden on Easter morning. In the upper room, he breathes on his apostles. Notice John’s words:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22 (ESV)

Throughout the gospels, most vividly in John, we see the familiar images of dust, gardens, and breath. History started this way, in the garden, where God first breathed life into Adam. Here at the start of the New Testament church, Jesus begins the whole process again, by breathing the Spirit into us.  

There’s that Hebrew word for breath—ruach—the word for Spirit.

Instead of destroying us for our rebellion and for turning from him, instead of starting over with a scorched earth policy from the ground up, God came here himself to re-create. These echoes of creation remind us that God always kept a remnant, Noah, the Exodus, the people brought back from exile. And then he brought forth his Son from one family, one woman, one womb.

He kept the remnant because that was his plan all along. He is the God who re-creates. He takes the dust and waste that sin has turned the world into and starts his kingdom here and says, “It is good.”

Has he breathed life into the dust of your life? Has he taken what is lifeless and dry and made it live? Think of the addict who is healed and goes on to support other addicts. Think of a mother who was hurt and abused as a child, but was then given her own children to cherish and break that cycle of pain.

We live in a world of death and resurrection with a God who, over and over, breathes life into a handful of dust. How is he breathing life into you?

Presented by Greg Williams


About the presenter:
Word of Life each Sunday is taken from Speaking of Life, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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