As I sit in my office and type this article, the wind outside is whipping across the window sill and making a low, moaning sound. As we walk through the month of March, if the old adage is true, we can expect it to “come in like a Lion and go out like a Lamb”. This speaks of course to the transition from the cold and dark of winter to the freshness and light of spring. It also typically points to the traditional windiness of the month of March. As a kid I always knew it as ‘kite flying’ season! I used to attach my kite to my fishing pole so that once I got it airborne I could let it out and reel it in with ease. It made it a lot easier to maneuver as well.
Wind is an amazing thing. A cool breeze is a welcome break on a hot, muggy day. It can be a pleasant messenger, bringing to us the intoxicating scent of freshly blooming flowers across a field. Wind is also powerful and has been used to generate energy, pump water and drive ships for centuries. Humans have found myriad ways to harness its strength and use it to explore the world and develop civilizations across the globe. There are also times when wind can be devastatingly destructive. Across the southeast, we see every year the impact of hurricanes that batter the coast with wind and rain. Just in our recent past, we have seen the extraordinary damage done in Tennessee where several tornadoes touched down around the Nashville area, one of which was an EF-4 with winds estimated at 174 m.p.h. Wind is definitely a powerful force and one to be respected. Though we cannot see it, we know it by its effects.
In the bible, there are many words used to describe God and the attributes of God. Two words in particular are used to describe the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is Ruach. In Genesis we are told that the earth was dark and void and “the Spirit (Ruach) of God moved upon the face of the water” and God began to create as the Spirit moved. In the New Testament, the Greek word is Pneuma. In the Book of Acts in chapter 1, Jesus tells his disciples, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit (pneuma) has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Interestingly, both of these words also mean “wind” or “breath”. They are translated not as the essence of God but to indicate the power of God. On the day of Pentecost, the bible says that the disciples were gathered in an upper room, cowering and afraid. The Spirit of God fell on them with the “sound of a mighty rushing wind” and they were transformed into bold and able witnesses for Christ! They spilled out into the streets and began to tell everyone about the risen Christ and the love of God. They were fearless in the power of the Spirit of God at work within them.
In this season of Lent, we are preparing for the Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. As part of our preparations, let us open up our lives and make room for God’s Holy Spirit wind to move through and rekindle the flame of faith within us so that we might be also transformed into bold and able witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ! My prayer is that the Spirit will fall afresh on our church and bring revival into our midst and new life into our community by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
Peace to you,