October 7, 2010

Breathe on Me, Breath of God

One of my classes this semester is Worship Arts & Discipline and one of the books we have to read this semester is titled, The Divine Hours - Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

I am not one to follow a liturgical set of prayers on a daily basis, but I am enjoying drawing closer to God through the practice of the daily office prayers, in the morning (Morning Office), midday (Midday Office) and evening (Vespers Office).

I don't know how much I'll continue with the practice of the Daily Offices after the semester, but I have been enjoying this brief time of reading and prayer.

Even though this post is the day after what I read, last night's reading included a hymn, Breathe on Me, Breath of God and was written by Edwin Hatch (1835-1889), which I found to be a great blessing and the first time I've ever read of this hymn by Edwin Hatch too.

The title of this hymn reminded me of a song by a similar title that is sung by Hillsong, Breathe on Me.

The hymn below reveals Hatch's theology of God and I hope you enjoy reading today this short but beautiful hymn as much as I have and that you may share it with others.

The Hymn - Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what you do love,
And do what you would do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Till all this earthly part of me
Glows with your fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with you I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with you the perfect life
Of your eternity.

Edwin Hatch

Breath has long been associated with the concept of the Holy Spirit - both Greek and Latin have the same word for spirit and breath (pneuma and spiritus). The hymn is a meditation on John 3:3-8, where the creating breath of God (Genesis 2:7) becomes the breath of the Holy Spirit in the new creation. It brings new life and love (verse 1, Galatians 2:20 and 5:22), purity and obedience (verse 2, Psalm 51:10, Mark 13:13), surrender and inspiration (verse 3, Acts 2:3-4), and eternal life (verse 4, 1 Peter 5:10).*

If you have a favorite hymn that you love to sing, what is it, who wrote it and why do you like/love it so much?




Peter Morris said...

gr8! we modern evangelicals can learn from liturgy

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite from Katharina von Schlegel:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

It has calmed me more than once...

Though this may look anonymous, this is Amy Davis. I just didn't have any of those other IDs.

Kurt Michaelson said...

Peter, I have a book that I found at a bookstore, Selected Writings and Hymns of John and Charles Wesley that I look forward to reading.

Amy, thanks for sharing your favorite from Katharina von Schlegel and that you included it as well, to read. Cheers! :-)