I have to admit that I am still very much “old school” when it comes to certain tasks. For example, I still write my sermons out on A4 paper by hand, and I use a pencil rather than a pen, simply because the end product has usually involved a great deal of rubbing out! I do recall one humorous occasion when on a glorious sunny morning I decided to write my sermon in the garden. I had to break off at lunchtime, and by the time I returned to my uncompleted sermon, which I’d left on the garden table, I discovered to my surprise it was no longer there. Unfortunately, the wind had picked up and blown the pages into the neighbour’s garden. It was rather embarrassing having to knock on his door and ask if I could retrieve it. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a sign of what the good Lord Himself thought of my sermon!
It makes me think of how we experience the wind. Sometimes it comes upon us like a soft breeze, and is seen around this time of year blowing the cherry blossom off the trees, or in gentle waves of sand sweeping along a beach. At other times it comes upon us with such energy that it carries us along and forces us to quicken our step. And trying to make headway into a strong wind can be a real challenge at times.
The point I am trying to make is we cannot see the wind, but what we can do is to see and experience its effects. Jesus Himself said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:8).
With the approach of Pentecost we hear again the significance of the wind. St. Luke, the writer of the Acts of the Apostles, describes the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the assembled believers in Jerusalem in terms of a violent wind. They struggled to find the language to properly describe it, but they certainly witnessed and experienced its effects. Somehow, from that moment on, their lives were changed and they would go on being changed. That is what the Holy Spirit does in people’s lives. He renews, reshapes, moulds and equips us for the work God wants us to do and the people He wants us to be. The wind is indispensable, and so is God’s Spirit for the Christian. Some people we encounter may not understand much about the Holy Spirit, but the really important thing is that they see and feel the effects of the fruits of the Spirit at work in our daily lives.
Blessings in Christ