The Music of The One Breath

But Moses said to him, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!’ (Numbers 11.29)

The Christ breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit…  (John 20.22)

  I LOVE A POEM by the 14th Century Persian mystic , Hafiz, titled in English The Christ’s Breath. It is only three lines and yet it opens a door in my mind and heart. Here it is.

I am a hole in a flute

that the Christ’s breath moves through-

listen to this music.

    In the Hebrew story about Moses and the Israelites we read this morning, the young man and Joshua are thinking of Moses like he is the flute through which God’s breath flows. More than this, for them he is ‘The Flute.’ Only Moses is Prophet. Eldad and Medad then must be imposters, false prophets, and so they reasonably expect Moses to be furious and put a stop to the fake prophesying. But Moses knows he is not ‘The Flute’ but a hole in a flute, through which The One Breath moves. Moses is not jealous of the two prophets and expresses his longing that all God’s people would receive The Breath. Moses does not attract attention to himself, he points to God. The prophet is not substance like the wood of a flute, nor is he or she the beautifully or roughly crafted instrument itself. He or she is a hole – a dark space in the wood, one of four, five, six or eight perhaps, depending on the scale of the flute. The hole has no substance, yet without it, the music simply wouldn’t play.

    Today we celebrate Pentecost, the outpouring of God’s Breath for “all flesh”. Let us contemplate Hafiz’s flute and know that we are all holes in a flute, each to be played through by God’s breath. Through us the music of Christ plays, the music that opens the hearts and frees the souls of whomsoever will listen. Listen to this music.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on May 29, 2020.

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